IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Incentive Contracts For a Worker Who Envies His Boss

  • Robert Dur
  • Amihai Glazer

A worker’s utility may increase in his own income, but envy can make his utility decline with his employer’s income. Such behavior may call for high-powered incentives, so that increased effort by the worker little increases the income of his employer. This paper uses a principal-agent model to study optimal incentive contracts for envious workers under various assumptions about the object and generality of envy. Envy amplifies the effect of incentives on effort and, therefore, increases optimal incentive pay. Moreover, envy can make profitsharing optimal, even when the worker’s effort is fully contractible. We discuss several applications of our theoretical work. For example, envy can explain why lower-level workers are awarded stock options, why incentive pay is usually lower in non-profit organizations, and higher in larger firms. Envy may also make governmental production of a good more efficient than private production.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-09/cesifo1_wp1282.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1282.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1282
Contact details of provider: Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. H. R. Varian, 1973. "Equity, Envy and Efficiency," Working papers 115, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  3. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kenneth R Troske, 1994. "Evidence on the Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," Working Papers 94-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  7. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Frank, Robert H, 1984. "Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 549-71, September.
  9. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "Fairness, incentives, and contractual choices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1057-1068, May.
  11. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1993. "Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Working Paper Series 380, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Klein, Alexander & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Fairness, Incentives and Contractual Incompleteness," CEPR Discussion Papers 2790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Jonas Agell, 2003. "Why are Small Firms Different? Managers’ Views," CESifo Working Paper Series 1076, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Florian Englmaier & Achim Wambach, 2002. "Contracts and Inequity Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 809, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Kremer & Atif Mian, 2003. "Incentives in Markets, Firms and Governments," NBER Working Papers 9802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Fair Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 952-981, October.
  18. Patrick Francois, 2003. "Not-For-Profit Provision of Public Services," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C53-C61, March.
  19. George J. Borjas, 2002. "The Wage Structure and the Sorting of Workers into the Public Sector," NBER Working Papers 9313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert A.J. Dur, 2002. "From Public Monopsony to Competitive Market: More Efficiency but Higher Prices," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-118/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 Jan 2008.
  21. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1997. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 6215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1992. "Fair wages, involuntary unemployment and tax policies in the simple general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 299-320, April.
  23. Haskel, Jonathan & Szymanski, Stefan, 1993. "Privatization, Liberalization, Wages and Employment: Theory and Evidence for the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 161-81, May.
  24. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  25. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  26. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2003. "Group vs. Individual Performance Pay When Workers Are Envious," Cahiers de recherche 0318, CIRPEE.
  27. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  28. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  29. Kikeri, Sunita & Nellis, John, 2002. "Privatization in competitive sectors : the record to date," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2860, The World Bank.
  30. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  31. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Why do some firms give stock options to all employees?: An empirical examination of alternative theories," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 99-133, April.
  32. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  33. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  34. Roberts, Russell D, 1987. "Financing Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 420-37, April.
  35. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
  36. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y. & Hvide, H.K., 2001. "Status Concerns and the Organization of Work," Papers 2001-2, Tel Aviv.
  37. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  38. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  39. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  40. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  41. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  42. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  43. H. Peyton Young & Mary A. Burke, 2001. "Competition and Custom in Economic Contracts: A Case Study of Illinois Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 559-573, June.
  44. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1282. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.