We investigate how the convexity of a firm's incentives interacts with worker overconfidence to affect sorting decisions and performance. We demonstrate, experimentally, that overconfident employees are more likely to sort into a nonlinear incentive scheme over a linear one, even though this reduces pay for many subjects and despite the presence of clear feedback. Additionally, the linear scheme attracts
demotivated, underconfident workers who perform below their ability. Our findings suggest that firms may design incentive schemes that adapt to the behavioral biases of employees to "sort in" ("sort away") attractive (unattractive) employees; such schemes may also reduce a firm's wage bill. (JEL D03, D83, J24, J31, M12)
Larkin, Ian, and Stephen Leider.
"Incentive Schemes, Sorting, and Behavioral Biases of Employees: Experimental Evidence."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
Personnel Management; Executive Compensation