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Threat of Dismissal: Incentive or Sorting?

  • Illoong Kwon

Many people are fired from their jobs for poor performance. However, it is difficult to distinguish whether they are fired because they are not well suited for their job (sorting explanation) or because the firms are trying to provide incentives for effort (incentive explanation). This paper develops a dynamic incentive model of dismissal and proposes a methodology to distinguish between these two explanations. The methodology rests on the learning-by-doing and the changes in the slope of dismissal probability with respect to tenure. With our unique personnel data, we find significant evidence for the incentive explanation

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 114.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:114
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  1. Conyon, Martin J, 1998. "Directors' Pay and Turnover: An Application to a Sample of Large UK Firms," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(4), pages 485-507, November.
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  4. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1996. "Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1299-1310, November.
  5. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Jaap H. Abbring & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Dynamic Insurance Data," 2004 Meeting Papers 316, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  8. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  9. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432.
  10. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  11. Sparks, Roger, 1986. "A Model of Involuntary Unemployment and Wage Rigidity: Worker Incentives and the Threat of Dismissal," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 560-81, October.
  12. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K, 1995. " Performance Changes Following Top Management Dismissals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-57, September.
  13. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-46, June.
  14. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
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