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Pay enough, don’t pay too much or don’t pay at all? An empirical study of the non-monotonic impact of incentives on job satisfaction

  • Pouliakas, Konstantinos

This paper attempts to test the non-monotonic effect of monetary incentives on job satisfaction. Specifically, 8 waves (1998-2005) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) are used to investigate the ceteris paribus association between the intensity of bonus/profit-sharing payments and the utility derived from work. After controlling for individual heterogeneity biases, it is shown that relatively ‘small’ bonuses exert a significant negative effect on worker satisfaction. In contrast, job utility is found to rise only in response to ‘large’ bonus payments, primarily in skilled, non-unionized private sector jobs. The empirical evidence of the paper is therefore consistent with a ‘V-effect’ of incentives, suggesting that employers wishing to motivate their staff should indeed “pay enough or don’t pay at all”.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10031.

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Date of creation: 14 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10031
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  2. McCausland, David & Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2005. "Some are Punished and Some are Rewarded: A Study of the Impact of Performance Pay on Job Satisfaction," MPRA Paper 14243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  6. Pokorny, Kathrin, 2008. "Pay--but do not pay too much: An experimental study on the impact of incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 251-264, May.
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  9. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
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  24. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  25. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2009. "Confronting Objections to Performance Pay: A Study of the Impact of Individual and Gain-sharing Incentives on the Job Satisfaction of British Employees," MPRA Paper 14244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  34. repec:lan:wpaper:3016 is not listed on IDEAS
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