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Promotion Rat Race and Public Policy

  • Geir Bjertnaes
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    This study investigates whether excess effort to climb a career ladder justifies policy interventions. The answer depends on whether the government is able to levy a higher tax burden on career workers than on non-career workers. Both a tax on top income aimed at lowering the rewards of promotion and a labour law that restricts excess effort require such a differentiation in the tax burden to improve welfare. The differentiation in tax burden prevents that the welfare gain of reducing excess effort is neutralized by the welfare cost connected to an increase in the number of career workers.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-04/cesifo1_wp3781.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3781.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3781
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    1. Carola Frydman & Raven S. Molloy, 2011. "Does Tax Policy Affect Executive Compensation? Evidence from Postwar Tax Reforms," NBER Working Papers 16812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael Waldman, 2003. "Ex Ante versus Ex Post Optimal Promotion Rules: The Case of Internal Promotion," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 27-41, January.
    3. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919.
    4. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2007. "Contests for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 338-363.
    6. Fairburn, J.A. & Malcomson, J.M., 1995. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 304.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    7. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:521-542 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
    9. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
    11. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
    12. Jed DeVaro, 2005. "Internal Promotion Competitions in Firms," Labor and Demography 0508005, EconWPA.
    13. Persson, Mats & Sandmo, Agnar, 2002. "Taxation and Tournaments," Seminar Papers 715, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    14. Sandmo, Agnar, 1994. " The Tax They Pay May Be Your Own: Promotion, Taxes and Labour Supply," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 463-79.
    15. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
    16. Frank, Robert H., 2008. "Should public policy respond to positional externalities?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1777-1786, August.
    17. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
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