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A Note on the Optimality of Bonus Pay

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  • W Bentley Macleod

Abstract

This note derives the optimal compensation contract with subjective evaluation when the principal and agent may not agree regarding performance. The optimal contract takes the form of a bonus payment whenever the principal believes performance is acceptable, but with the payment of a penalty by the principal whenever the agent disagrees with a negative evaluation of the principal. The efficiency of the relationship is increasing with the degree of correlation, a result that is consistent with the importance of trust for an efficient employment relationship.

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  • W Bentley Macleod, "undated". "A Note on the Optimality of Bonus Pay," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 41, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:41
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/CILN/cilnwp41.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Groves, Theodore & Ledyard, John O, 1977. "Optimal Allocation of Public Goods: A Solution to the "Free Rider" Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 783-809, May.
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    5. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
    6. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-978, October.
    7. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-1156.
    8. Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1998. "The Interaction of Implicit and Explicit Contracts in Repeated Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-96, April.
    9. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
    10. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1983. "The Agent-Agents Problem: Payment by Relative Output," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-65, January.
    11. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
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