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Performance Incentives with Award Constraints

  • Gerald Marschke
  • Pascal Courty

This paper studies the provision of incentives in a large U.S. training organization which is divided in about 50 independent pools of training agencies. The number and the size of the agencies within each pool vary greatly. Each pool distributes performance incentive awards to the training agencies it supervises, subject to two constraints: the awards cannot be negative and the sum of the awards cannot exceed an award budget. We characterize the optimal award function and derive simple predictions about how award prizes should depend on the number of agencies, on their sizes, and on their performances. Our results indicate that the constraints on the award distribution bind and reduce the overall efficiency of the incentive system.

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File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2000/paper00-11.pdf
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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 00-11.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:00-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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  1. Heckman, James J & Heinrich, Carolyn & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Assessing the Performance of Performance Standards in Public Bureaucracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 389-95, May.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  3. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Demski, Joel S. & Sappington, David E. M. & Spiller, Pablo T., 1988. "Incentive schemes with multiple agents and bankruptcy constraints," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 156-167, February.
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