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Relative Performance Pay in the Shadow of Crisis

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  • Kräkel, Matthias
  • Nieken, Petra

Abstract

We analyze whether incentives from relative performance pay are reduced or enhanced if a department is possibly terminated due to a crisis. Our benchmark model shows that incentives decrease in a severe crisis, but are boosted given a minor crisis since efforts are strategic complements in the former case but strategic substitutes in the latter one. We tested our predictions in a laboratory experiment. The results confirm the effort ranking but show that in a severe crisis individuals deviate from equilibrium significantly stronger than in other situations. This behavior contradicts the benchmark model and leads to a five times higher survival probability of the department. We develop a new theoretical approach that may explain players’ behavior.

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  • Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra, 2013. "Relative Performance Pay in the Shadow of Crisis," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 425, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:425
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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    2. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.
    3. Sheremeta, Roman, 2016. "Impulsive Behavior in Competition: Testing Theories of Overbidding in Rent-Seeking Contests," MPRA Paper 73731, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra & Przemeck, Judith, 2014. "Risk taking and investing in electoral competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 98-120.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crisis; incentives; strategic complements; strategic substitutes; tournament;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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