Gift-Exchange, Incentives, and Heterogeneous Workers
Using a formal principal-agent model, I investigate the relation between monetary gift-exchange and incentive pay, while allowing for worker heterogeneity. I assume that some agents care more for their principal when they are convinced that the principal cares for them. Principals can signal their altruism by offering a generous contract, consisting of a base salary and an output-contingent bonus. I find that principals signal their altruism by offering relatively weak incentives and a relatively high expected total compensation, but the latter does not necessarily hold. Furthermore, since some agents do not reciprocate the principal's altruism, the principal may find it optimal to write a contract that simultaneously signals his altruism and screens reciprocal worker types. I show that such a contract is characterised by excessively strong incentives and relatively high expected total compensation.
|Keywords||gift-exchange, incentive contracts, signaling game|
|JEL||D86, Economics of Contract Law (jel), J41, Contracts: Specific Human Capital, Matching Models, Efficiency Wage Models, and Internal Labor Markets (jel), M52, Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (stock options, fringe benefits, incentives, family support programs, seniority issues) (jel), M55, Labor Contracting Devices: Outsourcing; Franchising; Other (jel)|
Non, J.A. (2010). Gift-Exchange, Incentives, and Heterogeneous Workers (No. TI 2010-008/2). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/17666