ESRI Geary Lecture: “Is Pay-For-Performance Effective?”

The second Geary Lecture of 2010 will be given by Professor Canice Prendergast, W. Allen Wallis Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Venue: ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2
Date: 25/11/2010
Time: 4 p.m.

For the last couple of decades, there has been a large body of work arguing for the widespread use of pay-for-performance as the appropriate means of aligning the interests of workers with those of their employers. This lecture outlines recent contributions to this body of work, and focuses on a number of general themes. First, the successes of pay-for-performance schemes are limited to a small class of agency settings that do not seem to generalise to other settings. Second, the literature has now begun to consider instruments other than pay as the most natural way to align interests. Finally, there is controversial literature in psychology that now challenges the basic assumptions of this strand of economic literature. The talk will review all these recent contributions, and likely directions for future research.

Canice Prendergast, who was a research assistant at the ESRI from 1983 to 1985, is now one of the world’s foremost researchers on workplace incentives and their impact on productivity. He is currently the W. Allen Wallis Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Geary lecture is organised each year by the ESRI and honours Dr R. C. Geary (1896 –1983), the first Director of the Institute.
This is one of the special events being held during 2010 to mark the Institute’s fiftieth birthday.

Attendance at the event is free but must be pre-booked. There are a limited number of places available and early booking is encouraged. To book a place, please send details of attendee’s name, organisation and contact telephone number by email to

The 2009 ESRI Geary Lecture: “The Challenge of Tax Reform and Expanding the Tax Base”

A highlight in this year’s calendar should be the Geary Lecture by Jim Poterba (MIT and President of NBER): details are here.