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Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain

Pouliakas, Konstantinos and Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos (2009): Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain.

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Abstract

Using two cross-sections of a representative dataset of British establishments, the effect of various forms of incentive pay (e.g. performance-related pay (PRP), profit-sharing, share ownership, cash bonuses) on the absence rates of firms is investigated. Incentives that are tightly linked to individual or group merit are found to be significantly related to lower absenteeism. Important disparities in the effect of PRP on absenteeism are detected, which depend on the extent of monitoring, private-public status, teamwork, and other organizational changes. The findings are robust to the potential endogenous relation between monitoring, PRP and absenteeism, and have important implications for the design of optimal compensation policies by firms.

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