Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts
Objective measures of performance are seldom perfect. In response, incentive contracts often include important subjective components that mitigate incentive distortions caused by imperfect objective measures. This paper explores the combined use of subjective and objective performance measures in (respectively) implicit and explicit incentive contracts. Naturally, objective and subjective measures often are substitutes, sometimes strikingly so: we show that if objective measures are sufficiently close to perfect then no implicit contracts are feasible (because the firm's fallback position after reneging on an implicit contact is too attractive). We also show, however, that objective and subjective measures can reinforce each other: if objective measures become more accurate then in some circumstances the optimal contract puts more weight on subjective measures (because the improved objective measures increase the value of the ongoing relationship, and so reduce the firm's incentive to renege). We also analyze the use of subjective weights on objective performance measures, and provide case-study evidence consistent with our analyses.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1993|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vo. 109, No. 4, 1994, pp. 1125-1156.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Michael Waldman, 1984.
"Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
- Gibbons, Robert, 1987.
"Piece-Rate Incentive Schemes,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 413-29, October.
- Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
- Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
- Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
- Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
- HOLMSTROM, Bengt, .
"Moral hazard and observability,"
CORE Discussion Papers RP
-379, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4480. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.