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Firms' Choice of Method of Pay

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  • Charles Brown

Abstract

Three types of pay-setting methods are piece rates (pay mechanically linked to output), merit pay (pay based on less formal judgments by one's supervisor), and standard rates (pay based on one's job classification and perhaps seniority, but not directly on performance). Firms' choice among methods depends on balancing the gains from more precise links between performance and pay against the costs of either precise or judgmental measures of output. Using data from the BLS Industry Wage Study program, hypotheses suggested by this observation are tested and for the most part confirmed.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Brown, 1989. "Firms' Choice of Method of Pay," NBER Working Papers 3065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3065
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    1. Barron, John M & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1986. "On Imperfect Evaluation and Earning Differentials," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 595-614, October.
    2. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
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