Richard Freeman, Wei Huang, Teng Li, 07 May 2019

Incentive systems that pay workers bonuses based on performance targets are widely used to increase productivity, but they can incur costs to firms from workers gaming the system. This column studies the introduction of one such non-linear incentive system by a major Chinese insurance firm. It finds that the system increased productivity and lowered turnover rates sufficiently to outweigh the gaming costs, and appears to have benefitted both workers and the firm.

Philippe Bracke, 15 September 2017

Sales in the housing market have been low for a few years. In this video, Philippe Bracke explains how the original house price has an effect on the owner's decision to sell. This video was recorded in July 2017 at a macroeconomics conference organised by the Bank of England.

Colin Hottman, Stephen Redding, David Weinstein, 14 October 2014

Recent research highlights that important factors for firm size are costs, quality, markups, and product scope. This column explores the sources that make these factors differ across firms. Quality, including in the form of variation in product scope, is the chief determinant of firm sales. Marginal cost variations do not matter much for firm size.

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