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Incentive Pay Systems and the Management of Human Resources in France and Great Britain

  • Richard Belfield
  • Salima Benhamou
  • David Marsden

Incentive pay systems have undergone major changes in recent decades. This paper investigates use of incentive pay systems in British and French private sector establishments in 2004, focusing on payment-by-results, merit pay, and profit sharing, using British and French workplace surveys: WERS and Réponse. Despite the stereotypes of Britain as a deregulated economy and France as a more coordinated social-market economy, French firms make considerably greater use of incentive pay, and particularly, merit pay. The paper explores the organisational and institutional determinants of this. It finds that personnel economics and management theories explain a significant share of the within country variation in use of incentive pay systems.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0796.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0796
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  1. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
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