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Reputation, career concerns, and job assignments

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  • Leonardo Martinez

Abstract

Does a worker who had a successful career have stronger or weaker incentives to manipulate his reputation than a worker who performed poorly? This paper presents a tractable model that allows us to study career concerns when the strength of a worker?s incentives depends on his employment history (the history of his past actions, jobs, and performances). More specifically, the paper incorporates standard job assignments into the main model in Holmstrom?s (1999) seminal paper on career concerns. Equilibrium wages, equilibrium job assignments, and the strength of career-concern incentives are the same for all employment histories that lead to the same worker's reputation. (With reputation we refer to beliefs about the worker's future productivity.) We show that, typically, workers with a better reputation have stronger incentives than workers with a worse reputation. Furthermore, we show that when the strength of incentives depends on employment history, (i) a ratchet effect may appear, (ii) in spite of this ratchet effect, incentives may be stronger, and (iii) incentives may be stronger when beliefs about ability are more precise. ; Previous title: Reputation and career concerns

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  • Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Reputation, career concerns, and job assignments," Working Paper 06-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:06-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Heski Bar‐Isaac & Johannes Hörner, 2014. "Specialized Careers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 601-627, September.
    2. Hakenes, Hendrik & Katolnik, Svetlana, 2017. "On the incentive effects of job rotation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 424-441.
    3. Heski Bar-Isaac & Raphaël Lévy, 2022. "Motivating Employees through Career Paths," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 95-131.
    4. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Deb, Joyee, 2014. "What is a good reputation? Career concerns with heterogeneous audiences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-50.
    5. Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Why could political incentives be different during election times?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 95(Sum), pages 315-334.
    6. Heski Bar-Isaac & Joyee Deb, 2012. "Reputation for a Servant of Two Masters," Working Papers 12-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    7. Maxime Menuet & Patrick Villieu, 2021. "Reputation and the “need for enemies”," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 72(4), pages 1049-1089, November.
    8. Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The Benefits of Limited Feedback in Organizations," Working Papers 490, Barcelona School of Economics.
    9. Pablo Casas‐Arce, 2010. "Career Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 667-698, September.
    10. Katolnik, Svetlana & Hakenes, Hendrik, 2014. "On the Incentive Effect of Job Rotation," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100574, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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