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Confronting Objections to Performance Pay: A Study of the Impact of Individual and Gain-sharing Incentives on the Job Satisfaction of British Employees

Pouliakas, Konstantinos and Theodossiou, Ioannis (2009): Confronting Objections to Performance Pay: A Study of the Impact of Individual and Gain-sharing Incentives on the Job Satisfaction of British Employees. Forthcoming in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy (2009)

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Abstract

The increasing use of incentive pay schemes in recent years has raised concerns about their potential detrimental effect on intrinsic job satisfaction (JS), job security and employee morale. This study explores the impact of pay incentives on the overall job satisfaction of workers in the UK and their satisfaction with various facets of jobs. Using data from eight waves (1998-2005) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and a uniquely-designed well-being dataset (EPICURUS), a significant positive impact on job satisfaction is only found for those receiving fixed-period bonuses. These conclusions are robust to unobserved heterogeneity, and are shown to depend on a number of job-quality characteristics that have not been controlled for in previous studies.

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