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Incentives in merchant empires: Portuguese and Dutch compensation schemes

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  • Claudia Rei

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA)

Abstract

The Portuguese and Dutch merchant empires had a similar geographic distribution with outposts all around the Indian Ocean, which they controlled and manned. Both empires faced the same problem of monitoring their agents in remote corners of the world. Each, however, arrived at a different solution to the monitoring problem. I use a principal–agent model to link different monitoring options to the different organizational structures of the two empires. I further investigate the implications of the model with archival data on labor compensation for Portuguese and Dutch workers overseas.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11698-011-0074-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 7 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-13

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:7:y:2013:i:1:p:1-13

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Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org
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Related research

Keywords: Merchant empires; Labor compensation; Monitoring;

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  1. Rei, Claudia, 2011. "The organization of Eastern merchant empires," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 116-135, January.
  2. Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  4. Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101, February.
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  7. Murphy, Kevin J., 2000. "Performance standards in incentive contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 245-278, December.
  8. Hejeebu, Santhi, 2005. "Contract Enforcement in the English East India Company," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 496-523, June.
  9. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  10. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Did Vasco da Gama matter for European markets? -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(3), pages 655-684, 08.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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