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Don't Forget the Gravy! Are Bonuses and Time Rates Complements?

  • Colin Green
  • John Heywood

The press often depicts bonuses as extra payments to the already well compensated and calls for reform. Yet, these calls typically ignore the efficiency argument that bonuses are potentially risky performance pay that substitute for salary compensation. This paper uses representative UK data to estimate that bonuses appear not to substitute for salary in cross-sectional estimates. Yet, when controlling for time invariant characteristics in panel data, bonuses emerge as substitutes. Each pound of bonus comes at a cost of 40 pence in other earnings. The degree of substitution is far larger at the bottom of the earnings distribution and far smaller at the top of the earnings distribution.

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Paper provided by Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department in its series Working Papers with number 13424023.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:13424023
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  1. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of Pay and Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
  2. John S. Heywood & Daniel Parent, 2012. "Performance Pay and the White-Black Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 249 - 290.
  3. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried & David I. Walker, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 9068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2010. "Pay Enough, Don't Pay Too Much or Don't Pay at All? The Impact of Bonus Intensity on Job Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 4713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Guido Friebel & Michael Raith, 2004. "Abuse of Authority and Hierarchical Communication," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 224-244, Summer.
  12. Colin Green & John S. Heywood, 2008. "Does Performance Pay Increase Job Satisfaction?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(300), pages 710-728, November.
  13. Jenkins, Stephen P., 2010. "The British Household Panel Survey and its Income Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Wadhwani, Sushil & Wall, Martin, 1990. "The Effects of Profit-Sharing on Employment, Wages, Stock Returns and Productivity: Evidence from UK Micro-data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 1-17, March.
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  17. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
  18. Thomas Cornelißen & John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2008. "Performance Pay, Risk Attitudes and Job Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 136, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  19. Anna Zaharieva (Chizhova), 2010. "Risk Sharing and Employee Motivation in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-07, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  20. Roger T. Kaufman, 1998. "The Effects of Gain Sharing on the Basic Wage: The Case of IMPROSHARE," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(3), pages 595-600, 09.
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