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Optimal incentive mix of performance pay and efficiency wage

  • Anders Frederiksen

    ()

    (Aarhus School of Business, Center for Corporate Performance and IZA)

  • Elod Takats

    ()

    (Princeton University, Economics Department)

Firms use a rich set of incentives including fixed wages, bonuses, threat of firing and promise of promotion. Yet, we do not have a theoretical understanding of how such a mix of incentives can arise. This paper aims to build a theoretical model which describes the incentive mix as the solution to an optimal contracting problem and provides broader testable implications. The basic model has a principal-agent relationship with unobservable effort. The integrative model includes the basic model and three building blocks: job-assignment, learning and human capital. The derived incentive mix is a consequence of the dual role of firing. It is both an incentive and a sorting decive. The model's predictions are tested on firm-level data from a large pharmaceutical company. The broader testable implications beyond the incentive mix are also confirmed by the data.

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File URL: http://www.econ.core.hu/doc/dp/dp/mtdp0418.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0418.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0418
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  1. Malcomson, J., 1998. "Individual employment contracts," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9804, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
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  11. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  14. 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.
  15. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  16. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
  17. Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
  18. 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.
  19. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
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