Do Bonuses Enhance Sales Productivity? A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Bonus-Based Compensation Plans
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Thomas J. Steenburgh
University of Virginia - Darden Graduate School of Business
Yale University - Cowles Foundation; Yale School of Managemnet
October 18, 2010
Harvard Business School Working Paper No. 1491283
We estimate a dynamic structural model of sales force response to a bonus based compensation plan. The paper has two main methodological innovations: First, we implement empirically the method proposed by Arcidiacono and Miller (2010) to accommodate unobserved latent class heterogeneity with a computationally light two-step estimator. Second, the bonus setting helps estimate discount factors in a dynamic structural model using field data. This is because, quarterly and annual bonuses help generate the instruments necessary to identify both discount factors in a hyperbolic discounting model.
Substantively, the paper sheds insights on how different elements of the compensation plan enhance productivity. We find clear evidence that: (1) bonuses enhance productivity; (2) overachievement commissions help sustain the high productivity of the best performers even after attaining quotas; and (3) sales people exhibit present bias consistent with hyperbolic discounting. Given such present bias, frequent quarterly bonuses tied to high demand end-of-quarter months, serve as pacers to keep the sales force on track to achieve their annual sales quotas.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: Sales Force Compensation, Productivity, Structural Dynamic Model
JEL Classification: L23, L14working papers series
Date posted: October 19, 2009 ; Last revised: November 23, 2010
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.390 seconds