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Group vs. Individual Performance Pay When Workers Are Envious

  • Dominique Demougin
  • Claude Fluet

We consider the effects on reward systems of workers' concern with relative pay by comparing the wage costs of providing incentives through group versus individual bonus schemes. When workers have a propensity for envy, either scheme may be the least cost one depending on the workers' outside opportunities and on the precision of available performance measures. The result follows from the trade-off between the dissatisfaction associated with the prospect of unequal pay and the incentives it generates when workers are envious.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0318.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0318
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  1. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  2. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  3. Baker, George P & Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1988. " Compensation and Incentives: Practice vs. Theory," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 593-616, July.
  4. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  6. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  7. Mui, V.L., 1992. "The Economics of Envy," Papers 9306, Southern California - Department of Economics.
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