NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Incentives and Wage Rigidity

Edward P. Lazear

NBER Working Paper No. 1299
Issued in March 1984
NBER Program(s):   LS

With the growth of the literature on incentive compensation has come the belief by some that incentive pay may be less rigid than pay that is not designed to effect incentives. Some have gone so far as to argue that this may explain differences in unemployment rates across countries. it is shown that there is no direct link between incentives and wage rigidity. Many compensation schemes that provide incentives have the reverse effect: That is, they tend to make wages more rigid than would be the case were incentives not an issue atall. This paper explores the relationship between wage rigidity and the provision of incentives in a variety of circumstances.

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Published: Lazear, Edward P. "Incentives and Wage Rigidity." American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, (May 1984), pp. 339-344.

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