Job Allocation Rules and Sorting Efficiency: Experimental Outcomes in a Peter Principle Environment
An important issue in personnel economics is the design of efficient job allocation rules. Firms often use promotions both to sort workers across jobs and to provide them with incentives. However, the Peter Principle states that employees' output tends to fall after a promotion. Lazear (2004) suggests that self-selection may improve job allocation efficiency while preserving incentive effects. We reproduce this Peter Principle in the laboratory and compare the efficiency of a promotion standard with subjects self-selecting their task. We find no evidence of effort distortion, as predicted by theory. Furthermore, we find that when the Peter Principle is not severe, promotion rules often dominate self-selection efficiency of task assignment. Results are consistent with imperfect appraisal of transitory ability and a lack of strategic behavior.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published, Southern Economic Journal, 2012, 78, 3, pp. 842-859|
|Note:||View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00664665|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/|
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.:
- Bernhardt, Dan & Scoones, David, 1993.
"Promotion, Turnover, and Preemptive Wage Offers,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 771-91, September.
- Michael Waldman, 1984.
"Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
- Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993.
"Favoritism in Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric Van den Steen, 2004. "Rational Overoptimism (and Other Biases)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1141-1151, September.
- Meyer, Margaret A, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41, January.
- Bernhardt, Dan, 1995. "Strategic Promotion and Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 315-39, April.
- Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
- Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "The Peter Principle: A Theory of Decline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S141-S163, February.
- Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00664665. 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: (CCSD)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.