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The Allocation of Merit Pay in Academia

Author

Listed:
  • Finn Christensen

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • James Manley

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Louise Laurence

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the widespread awarding of faculty merit pay at a large public university accurately reflects productivity. We show that pairwise voting on a quality standard by a committee can in theory be consistent with observed allocation patterns. However, the data indicate only nominal adherence to a quality standard. Departments with more severe compression issues are more likely to award merit pay as a countermeasure and some departments appear to be motivated by nonpecuniary incentives. Much of the variance in merit pay allocation remains unexplained. These results suggest reform is needed to improve transparency in the merit system.

Suggested Citation

  • Finn Christensen & James Manley & Louise Laurence, 2010. "The Allocation of Merit Pay in Academia," Working Papers 2010-13, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2010-13
    as

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    File URL: http://webapps.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2010-13.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 23-56, January.
    2. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 285-300, Summer.
    3. Thomas S. Dee & Benjamin J. Keys, 2004. "Does merit pay reward good teachers? Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 471-488.
    4. French, Stephen & Kubo, Katsuyuki & Marsden, David, 2001. "Does performance pay de-motivate, and does it matter?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3637, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Belfield, Clive R. & Heywood, John S., 2008. "Performance pay for teachers: Determinants and consequences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 243-252, June.
    6. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2000. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Performance Incentives," Discussion Papers 00-12, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    7. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2003. "Dynamics of Performance-Measurement Systems," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 268-284, Summer.
    8. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
    9. Michael J. Podgursky & Matthew G. Springer, 2007. "Teacher performance pay: A review," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 909-950.
    10. Antony Dnes & Nuno Garoupa, 2005. "Academic Tenure, Posttenure Effort, and Contractual Damages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 831-839, October.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The strange dynamics of faculty merit pay
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-08-20 19:28:00

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • 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

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