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Bidimensional screening with intrinsically motivated workers

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  • F. Barigozzi
  • N. Burani

Abstract

We study the screening problem of a firm that needs to hire a worker to produce output and that observes neither the productive ability nor the intrinsic motivation of the job applicant. We completely characterize the set of optimal contracts according to whether motivation or ability is the main determinant of the worker’s performance. We show that it is always in the firm’s interest to hire all types of worker and to offer different contracts to different types of employees. Interestingly, when motivation is very high, incentives force the firm to pay higher informational rents, to increase effort distorsions for motivated workers, and to offer a strictly positive wage to workers enjoying a positive utility from effort provision, who thus become paid volunteers. These results suggest that, from the principal’s viewpoint, very high motivation might not be a desirable worker’s characteristic.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Barigozzi & N. Burani, 2013. "Bidimensional screening with intrinsically motivated workers," Working Papers wp866, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp866
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ester Manna, 2015. "Intrinsically Motivated Agents in Teams," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/326, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    2. F. Barigozzi & N. Burani & D. Raggi, 2013. "The Lemons Problem in a Labor Market with Intrinsic Motivation. When Higher Salaries Pay Worse Workers," Working Papers wp883, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. F. Barigozzi & N. Burani, 2014. "Competition and Screening with Skilled and Motivated Workers," Working Papers wp953, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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