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Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects and the Earnings Dynamics of American executives


  • Christian Belzil

    () (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Michael Bognanno

    (Department of economics - Temple University)


This paper explores the dynamics of wage growth in corporate hierarchies. Using panel data techniques, we estimate the causal effect of current and past transitions in reporting level and past earnings growth on components of current earnings and earnings growth using a large panel of US executives. After conditioning on unobserved heterogeneity, current compensation growth is positively correlated with past promotion outcomes but negatively correlated with past compensation growth. In a flexible model of wage growth, there is an important asymmetry between the effect of a promotion and a demotion. The effect of promotion is smaller in magnitude than the effect of a demotion. The causal effect of a promotion is positive on both growth in base pay and total cash compensation but is negative on bonus growth. The effect of a demotion is negative on growth in all pay components.

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  • Christian Belzil & Michael Bognanno, 2008. "Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects and the Earnings Dynamics of American executives," Post-Print halshs-00354270, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00354270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatás & Juan Lacomba & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Splitting leagues: promotion and demotion in contribution-based regrouping experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 426-441, September.
    2. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "What Do We Work For? An Anatomy of Pre- and Post-Tax Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Kaas, Leo, 2015. "Worker mobility in a search model with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 340-386.
    4. Anders Frederiksen & Timothy Halliday & Alexander K. Koch, 2016. "Within- and Cross-Firm Mobility and Earnings Growth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(2), pages 320-353, March.
    5. Frederiksen, Anders, 2013. "Incentives and earnings growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 97-107.
    6. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Matthias Wibral, 2012. "Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multistage Elimination Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 149-174.
    7. Pema, Elda & Mehay, Stephen, 2010. "The role of job assignment and human capital endowments in explaining gender differences in job performance and promotion," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 998-1009, December.
    8. Hryshko, Dmytro, 2014. "Correlated income shocks and excess smoothness of consumption," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 41-62.

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    wage growth; corporate hierarchies;


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