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Differences in Social Preferences - Are They Profitable for the Firm?

  • Küpper, Hans-Ulrich
  • Sandner, Kai
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    This paper analyzes the impact of heterogeneous (social) preferences on the weighting and combination of performance measures as well as on a firm’s profitability. We consider rivalry, egoism and altruism as extreme forms within the continuum of possible preferences and show that the principal can typically exploit both the altruistic and rivalistic behavior of his agents. Firm profits reach their maximum value if the agents are differentiated as much as possible in their individual characteristics. We provide further insight; namely, that in order to realize these gains in profitability, it is necessary to reallocate participation in performance measures such that competitive agents are privileged as compared to altruistic agents. In this context, stochastic interdependencies are of importance since they yield overlapping functions of the share parameters, causing additional adaptations in the optimal design of the wage compensation system.

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    File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2122/1/Workingpaper_kuepper_sandner.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Munich, Munich School of Management in its series Discussion Papers in Business Administration with number 2122.

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    Date of creation: 21 Feb 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:lmu:msmdpa:2122
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    1. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2005. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 187-207, 03.
    2. Bartling, Björn & Siemens, Ferdinand von, 2006. "The Intensity of Incentives in Firms and Markets: Moral Hazard with Envious Agents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 115, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Meidinger, Claude & Rapoport, Benoit, 2006. "The Formation of Social Preferences: Some Lessons from Psychology and Biology," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    4. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Optimal incentive contracts under inequity aversion," Munich Reprints in Economics 22027, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    7. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet & Carsten Helm, 2004. "Output and Wages with Inequality Averse Agents," Cahiers de recherche 0419, CIRPEE.
    8. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
    9. Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen, 2001. "Social Norms and Optimal Incentives in Firms," Working Paper Series 565, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Sandner, Kai, 2008. "Balancing Performance Measures When Agents Behave Competitively in an Environment With Technological Interdependencies," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 2113, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
    11. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2003. "Group vs. Individual Performance Pay When Workers Are Envious," Cahiers de recherche 0318, CIRPEE.
    12. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
    13. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    14. William S. Neilson & Jill Stowe, 2010. "Piece-Rate Contracts For Other-Regarding Workers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 575-586, 07.
    15. James Andreoni, 2001. "Giving According to GARP," Theory workshop papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
    16. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
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