IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Personnel Economics: The Economist's View of Human Resources

  • Edward P. Lazear
  • Kathryn L. Shaw

Personnel economics drills deeply into the firm to study human resource management practices like compensation, hiring practices, training, and teamwork. Many questions are asked. Why should pay vary across workers within firms--and how "compressed" should pay be within firms? Should firms pay workers for their performance on the job or for their skills or hours of work? How are pay and promotions structured across jobs to induce optimal effort from employees? Why do firms use teams and how are teams used most effectively? How should all these human resource management practices, from incentive pay to teamwork, be combined within firms? Personnel economics offers new tools and new answers to these questions. In this paper, we display the tools and principles of personnel economics through a series of models aimed at addressing the questions posed above. We focus on the building blocks that form the foundation of personnel economics: the assumptions that both the worker and the firm are rational maximizing agents; that labor markets and product markets must reach some price-quantity equilibrium; that markets are efficient or that market failures have introduced inefficiencies; and that the use of econometrics and experimental techniques has advanced our ability to identify underlying causal relationships.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13653.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13653.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2007. "Personnel Economics: The Economist's View of Human Resources," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13653
Note: LS PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions: Presidential Address to the Society of Labor Economists, San Francisco, May 1, 1998," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 199-236, April.
  3. Robert H. Frank, 1984. "Interdependent Preferences and the Competitive Wage Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 510-520, Winter.
  4. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
  5. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
  6. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
  7. J. A. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1980. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Working papers 255, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  9. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  10. Joesph E. Stiglitz, 1975. "Incentives, Risk, and Information: Notes Towards a Theory of Hierarchy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 552-579, Autumn.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  12. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
  13. Jed DeVaro, 2006. "Internal promotion competitions in firms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 521-542, 09.
  14. Richard Thaler & Sherwin Rosen, 1976. "The Value of Saving a Life: Evidence from the Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 265-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Charles Brown, 1990. "Wage Levels and Method of Pay," NBER Working Papers 3336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  19. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
  20. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
  21. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Main, Brian G M & O'Reilly, Charles A, III & Wade, James, 1993. "Top Executive Pay: Tournament or Teamwork?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 606-28, October.
  23. Daniel Parent, 1997. "Methods of Pay and Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-14, CIRANO.
  24. Paul Oyer, 2005. "Salary or Benefits?," NBER Working Papers 11817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' choice of method of pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
  26. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  27. Robert Drago & John S. Heywood, 1994. "The Choice of Payment Schemes: Australian Establishment Data," Labor and Demography 9402001, EconWPA, revised 04 Feb 1994.
  28. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  29. Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
  30. Fredrik Andersson & Matthew Freedman & John C. Haltiwanger & Julia Lane & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2006. "Reaching for the Stars: Who Pays for Talent in Innovative Industries?," NBER Working Papers 12435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of Pay and Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
  32. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  34. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
  35. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
  36. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-78, October.
  37. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Globalisation and the Market for Team-Mates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C15-40, March.
  38. Baily, Martin Neil, 1977. "On the Theory of Layoffs and Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1043-63, July.
  39. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2096, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  40. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
  41. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
  42. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  43. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534, 04.
  45. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:521-542 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  47. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Beth J. Asch, 1990. "Do incentives matter? The case of Navy recruiters," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 89-106, February.
  49. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  50. Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-34, May.
  51. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
  52. Paul Oyer, 1998. "Fiscal Year Ends And Nonlinear Incentive Contracts: The Effect On Business Seasonality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 149-185, February.
  53. Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-70, October.
  54. 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 841-64, October.
  55. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  56. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13653. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.