Do Employers Pay for Consistent Performance?: Evidence from the NBA
Economic Inquiry, Vol. 36, No. 1, January 1998
Posted: 8 Jul 1998
In a world of uncertainty in which a worker's performance is variable over time and average performance is unknown when hiring, how will employers determine compensation? We develop a monitoring and signaling model where information is symmetric and parties are risk neutral. Monitoring costs increase with inconsistency, lowering pay for inconsistent workers. If discrimination exists, minority workers will be rewarded less than majority workers for improving consistency. Testing these and other predictions using National Basketball Association data, we find that consistent professional basketball players are paid more, but, in contrast to previous studies, there is no evidence of discrimination.
JEL Classification: J3, J7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation