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Firm Performance and Compensation Structure: Performance Elasticities of Average Employee Compensation

  • Bruce A. Rayton

    (University of Bath Management School)

Agency costs are a cost of production, and firms that do a better job of minimizing these costs should exhibit better performance. This paper tests this hypothesis by calculating the performance elasticity of average employee hourly compensation for U.S. manufacturing firms. This elasticity indicates the degree of alignment between employee and shareholder objectives. The estimated elasticity is indistinguishable from zero in low performance firms, and it equals 0.193 in high performance firms. While it is difficult to know whether an elevated performance sensitivity causes better firm performance, clearly the best performers in manufacturing industries link average employee pay to performance.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/9607/9607001.doc.gz
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9607001.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 1996
Date of revision: 15 Apr 1998
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9607001
Note: Type of Document - MS-Word 7.0 for Windows 95; prepared on IBM PC - Windows 95; pages: 37 ; figures: included. Send me e-mail if there are any problems. I can attatch a copy of the file to my response, or I can arrange another form of delivery.
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  1. Bhargava, Sandeep, 1994. "Profit-Sharing and the Financial Performance of Companies: Evidence from U.K. Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1044-56, September.
  2. Bruce A. Rayton & Jonathan S. Seaton, 1996. "The Size of Employee Stakeholding in Large UK Corporations," Labor and Demography 9612001, EconWPA, revised 28 Jan 1999.
  3. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
  4. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  5. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  6. Coughlan, Anne T. & Schmidt, Ronald M., 1985. "Executive compensation, management turnover, and firm performance : An empirical investigation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 43-66, April.
  7. Nalbantian, Haig & Schotter, Andrew, 1994. "Productivity Under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 94-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Bruce A. Rayton, 1996. "Rent-Sharing or Incentives? Estimating the Residual Claim of Average Employees," Labor and Demography 9603002, EconWPA, revised 09 Sep 1996.
  9. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  10. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps, June.
  11. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521348911 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Abowd, John M, 1989. "The Effect of Wage Bargains on the Stock Market Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 774-800, September.
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