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Monitoring and Pay


  • Allgulin, Magnus

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Ellingsen, Tore

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)


The shirking model of efficiency wages has been thought to imply that monitoring and pay are substitute instruments for motivating workers. We demonstrate that this result hinges critically on restrictive assumptions regarding workers' choice of effort - for example that there are only two possible effort levels. Under more reasonable assumptions, monitoring and pay are complementary instruments. Another result is that there is a non-monotonic relationship between the wage level and the workers' rents. Finally, much of the empirical literature on the monitoring-pay relationship is shown to be seriously misguided.

Suggested Citation

  • Allgulin, Magnus & Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Monitoring and Pay," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 245, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 22 Nov 1999.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0245

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Maria Parigi & Loriana Pelizzon & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2013. "Stock Market Returns, Corporate Governance and Capital Market Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 4496, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2009. "Incentives, supervision, and sharecropper productivity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 232-241, March.
    3. Dittrich, Dennis & Kocher, Martin, 2006. "Monitoring and Pay: An Experiment on Employee under Endogenous Supervision," CEPR Discussion Papers 5962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 2011. "Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motives: Standard and Behavioral Approaches to Agency and Labor Markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Sarah Brown & Robert McNabb & Karl Taylor, 2006. "Firm Performance, Worker Commitment and Loyalty," Working Papers 2006005, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2006.
    6. John G. Sessions & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2014. "Tenure, Wage Profiles and Monitoring," Research in Labor Economics,in: New Analyses of Worker Well-Being, volume 38, pages 105-162 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    7. Wunnava, Phanindra V., 2017. "Firm Size and Union Threat Effects across Genders: Evidence from NLSY79," GLO Discussion Paper Series 45, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Dennis Dittrich & Martin Kocher, 2006. "Monitoring and Pay: An Experiment on Employee Performance under Endogenous Supervision," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    9. Sessions, John G., 2008. "Wages, supervision and sharing," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 653-672, November.
    10. Tetteh, Rebecca & Mohammed, Safura & Ahmed Azumah, Ayisha, 2017. "What is the effect of wages and supervision on productivity? The perspective of Sunyani Technical University staff," MPRA Paper 81473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ross, Stephen L. & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Are shirking and leisure substitutable? An empirical test of efficiency wages based on urban economic theory," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 498-517, September.
    12. M Guerrazzi, 2008. "A Dynamic Efficiency-Wage Model with Continuous Effort and Externalities," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 13(2), pages 37-58, September.
    13. Pablo González, 2002. "Profit Sharing Reconsidered: Efficiency Wages and Renegotiation Costs," Documentos de Trabajo 151, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    14. Chen Liang & Yili Hong & Bin Gu, 2016. "Effects of IT-enabled Monitoring on Labor Contracting in Online Platforms: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 16-01, NET Institute.
    15. Ourania Karakosta & Nikos Tsakiris, 2009. "Indirect Tax Reforms and Public Goods under Imperfect Competition," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 5-2009, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    16. Kirkegaard, René, 2017. "A unifying approach to incentive compatibility in moral hazard problems," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(1), January.
    17. Sessions, John G. & Skåtun, John D., 2015. "Shirking, Standards and the Probability of Detection," IZA Discussion Papers 8863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Fallesen, Peter, 2016. "Downward spiral: The impact of out-of-home placement on paternal welfare dependency," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 45-55.

    More about this item


    Monitoring; efficiency wages; incentive pay.;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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