Distributional concerns in managers’ compensation schemes for heterogeneous workers: experimental evidence

Brandts, Jordi, Ortiz Gomez, Jose Maria and Sola Belda, Carles (2019) Distributional concerns in managers’ compensation schemes for heterogeneous workers: experimental evidence. Review of Behavioural Economics, 6 (3). pp. 193-218. ISSN 2326-6198 (doi:10.1561/105.00000107)

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Abstract

We present results from three-player experiments aimed at studying distributional concerns in how ownermanagers compensate themselves and workers of different productivities and effort costs, as well as their relations to various equity principles. We are also interested in how owner-managers decisions’ are affected by pay secrecy. We use a game in which workers first exert effort and owner-managers then decide on bonuses for themselves and workers. Our design includes four treatments: 1) different productivities of workers with complete information; 2) different productivities of workers with pay secrecy among workers; 3) different effort cost of workers with complete information; and 4) different effort cost of workers with pay secrecy among workers. The equity principles we focus on are ‘production-equity’, higher production leads to higher wage, and ‘effort-cost equity’, higher effort-cost leads to higher wage. Our results show that, on average, managers do not pay relative wages in accordance to relative production levels, but also take effort-cost into account. Pay secrecy affects compensation differences among workers in a limited way. Across all treatments about 50% of all manager choices are compatible both with ‘production equity’ and with ‘effort- cost equity’, about 20% only with production equity and about 15% only with effort-cost equity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Experimental economics, labor economics: wage structure
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 25863
Notes on copyright: The final publication is available from now publishers via http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/105.00000107
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Depositing User: Jose Maria Ortiz Gomez
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 09:48
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 22:33
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25863

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