Are You Paying Your Employees to Cheat? An Experimental Investigation
We compare misrepresentations of performance under a target-based compensation system with those under both a linear piece-rate system and a tournament-based bonus system using a laboratory experiment with salient financial incentives. An anagram game was employed as the experimental task. Results show that productivity, defined as the number of correct words a participant created during the seven experimental rounds, was similar and statistically indistinguishable under the three pay-for-performance schemes. In contrast, whether one considers the number of over-claimed words, the number of work/pay periods in which overclaims occur, or the number of participants making an over-claim at least once, target-based compensation produced significantly more cheating than either of the other two systems. Moreover, consistent with Schweitzer et al. (2004), cheating is more likely under a target-based scheme the closer a participant’s actual production is to the target. The larger amounts of cheating under target-based compensation support Jensen’s (2003) argument that such schemes encourage cheating and should be eliminated in favor of other types of performance pay.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in The B.E. Journal of Economic Anaysis and Policy (2010), 10, 1 (Contributions), Article 35.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1|
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53898
Fax: (519) 763-8497
Web page: https://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/
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.:
- Michael C. Jensen, 2003. "Paying People to Lie: the Truth about the Budgeting Process," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(3), pages 379-406.
- Neil Rickman & Robert Witt, 2003.
"The determinants of employee crime in the UK,"
School of Economics Discussion Papers
0703, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
- C. Cadsby & Elizabeth Maynes & Viswanath Trivedi, 2006. "Tax compliance and obedience to authority at home and in the lab: A new experimental approach," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(4), pages 343-359, December.
- Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alm, James & Sanchez, Isabel & de Juan, Ana, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 3-18.
- Degeorge, Francois & Patel, Jayendu & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1999.
"Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds,"
The Journal of Business,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-33, January.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-71.
- Alm, James & Cronshaw, Mark B & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Tax Compliance with Endogenous Audit Selection Rules," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 27-45.
- Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000.
"A fine is a price,"
Natural Field Experiments
00258, The Field Experiments Website.
- Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
- Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
- Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002.
"Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September.
- Daniel Nagin & James Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Alm & Michael McKee, 1998. "Extending the lessons of laboratory experiments on tax compliance to managerial and decision economics," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 259-275.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
- Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2008-10. 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: (Stephen Kosempel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.