Empirical support for asymmetry of the distribution of effort
When employers observe imperfect measures of worker effort, theorists typically assume that the observation of effort is unimodal and symmetrically distributed. This paper presents empirical evidence from two experimental work environments that question the assumption of symmetric distributions of observed effort. For these piece-rate work environments we find that observed effort is significantly negatively skewed (i.e., modal > mean effort). Two possible explanations are intra-period learning and/or on-the-job leisure. There are both theoretical and practical implications of this asymmetry. Some implications that are discussed, include: self-selection into rank-order tournaments, optimal wage spreads in rank-order tournaments, and optimal wage contracts with asymmetric information.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usu:wpaper:2000-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John Gilbert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.