Incentives and Careers in Organizations

36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 1996

See all articles by Robert S. Gibbons

Robert S. Gibbons

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School and Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1996

Abstract

This paper surveys two related pieces of the labor-economics literature: incentive pay and careers in organizations. In the discussion of incentives, I first summarize theory and evidence related to the classic agency model, which emphasizes the tradeoff between insurance and incentives. I then offer econometric and case-study evidence suggesting that this classic model ignores several crucial issues and sketch new models that begin to analyze these issues. In the discussion of careers in organizations, I begin by summarizing evidence on wages and positions using panel data within firms. This evidence is sparse and far-flung (drawn from industrial relations, organizational behavior and sociology, as well as from labor economics); I identify ten basic questions that merit more systematic investigation. Turning to theory, I describe building-block models that address one or a few pieces of evidence but focus on more recent models that address broad patterns of evidence.

JEL Classification: J33, J41, D8

Suggested Citation

Gibbons, Robert S., Incentives and Careers in Organizations (August 1996). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1520

Robert S. Gibbons (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School and Department of Economics ( email )

E52-432
MIT
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0283 (Phone)
617-258-6855 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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