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Job Assignments, Intrinsic Motivation and Explicit Incentives

  • Julia Nafziger


This paper considers the interplay of job assignments with the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of an agent. Job assignments influence the self confidence of the agent, and thereby his intrinsic motivation. Monetary reward allow the principal to complement intrinsic motivation with extrinsic incentives. The main result is that the principal chooses an inefficient job assignment rule to enhance the agent's intrinsic motivation even though she can motivate him with monetary rewards. This shows that, in the presence of intrinsically motivated agents, it is not possible to separate job assignment decisions from incentive provision.

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse5_2008.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse5_2008
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
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  1. Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloïc, 2008. "Moral hazard contracts: Does one size fit all?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 399-401, September.
  3. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:791-810 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Ricart i Costa, Joan E, 1988. "Managerial Task Assignment and Promotions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 449-66, March.
  6. Junichiro Ishida, 2006. "Optimal Promotion Policies with the Looking-Glass Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 857-878, October.
  7. I. Valsecchi, 1996. "Job Assignment and Promotion," Departmental Working Papers 1996-07, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  8. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2007. "Job Assignments under Moral Hazard: The Peter Principle Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 2973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Fairburn, James A & Malcomson, James M, 2001. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 45-66, January.
  10. Gibbs, Michael, 1995. "Incentive compensation in a corporate hierarchy," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 247-277, April.
  11. Baker, George P & Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1988. " Compensation and Incentives: Practice vs. Theory," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 593-616, July.
  12. Bernhardt, Dan, 1995. "Strategic Promotion and Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 315-39, April.
  13. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
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