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Paid to Quit

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Dur

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Heiner Schmittdiel

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

Inspired by a recent observation about an online retail company, this paper explains why a firm may find it optimal to offer an exit bonus to recent hires so as to induce self-selection. We study a double adverse selection problem, in which the principal can neither observe agents’ commitment to the job nor their intrinsic motivation. A steep wage-tenure profile deters uncommitted agents from applying. An exit bonus can stimulate that –among the committed agents– those who discovered that they are not intrinsically motivated for the job discontinue employment with the principal. Our key findings are that offering an exit bonus increases profits when the first adverse selection problem is sufficiently severe compared to the second and that the exit bonus needs to come as a surprise for the agents in order to function well.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dur & Heiner Schmittdiel, 2013. "Paid to Quit," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-174/VII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 07 Dec 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20130174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intrinsic motivation; commitment; self-selection; wage compensation; exit bonus; transparency;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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