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What Happens within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies


Canice Prendergast


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

October 1996

NBER Working Paper No. w5802

Abstract:     
with the compensation policies of firms. This literature is considered from the perspective of three major theories: human capital, learning, and incentives. Considerable empirical work has addressed each of these theories with some success. However, our understanding of the effect of compensation on behavior and of the motivations for firms in choosing certain policies has been constrained by two important problems. First, the absence of data on contracts and performance has limited the ability of researchers to ask even the most basic question, Do Incentives Matter? Second, the available theoretical work has not been sufficiently orientated towards distinguishing between plausible alternatives, so that many observed facts are consistent with any of the major theories.

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Date posted: March 10, 1997  

Suggested Citation

Prendergast, Canice, What Happens within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies (October 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5802. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=8168

Contact Information

Canice Prendergast (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7309 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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