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Promotion Tournaments and Individual Performance Pay

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  • Anja Schöttner
  • Veikko Thiele

Abstract

We analyze the optimal combination of promotion tournaments and individual performance pay in an employment relationship. An agent's effort is non-observable and he has private information about his suitability for promotion. We find that the principal does not provide individual incentives if it is sufficiently important to promote the most suitable candidate. Thus, we give a possible explanation for why individual performance schemes are less often observed in practice than predicted by theory. Furthermore, optimally trading off incentive and selection issues causes a form of the Peter Principle: The less suitable agent has an inefficiently high probability of promotion.

Suggested Citation

  • Anja Schöttner & Veikko Thiele, 2007. "Promotion Tournaments and Individual Performance Pay," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2007-045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 841-864, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kvaløy, Ola & Schöttner, Anja, 2015. "Incentives to motivate," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 26-42.
    2. Kräkel, Matthias & Schöttner, Anja, 2012. "Internal labor markets and worker rents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 491-509.
    3. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Mélanie Volral, 2011. "Does Wage Dispersion Make All Firms Productive?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(4), pages 455-489, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Promotion Tournaments; Piece Rates; Hidden Characteristics; Hidden Action;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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