Product market competition and organizational slack under profit-target contracts
AbstractIn a framework à la Martin (1993) we introduce a common component in the managers' private information in order to address three related questions: What is the impact of contracts that reward managers on the basis of realized profits on firms' productive and allocative efficiency relative to cost-target contracts? How do these contracts shape the relationship between competition and organizational slack? Can we then explain the existing evidence of an inverted-U shaped relationship between competition and cost-reducing activities, as documented in Aghion et al. [Aghion, P., Bloom, N., Blundell, R., Griffith, R., Howitt, P., "Competition and innovation: an inverted-U Relationship", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120: pp. 701-728, 2005]? We show that profit-target contracts introduce a horizontal (contractual) externality between the competing firms that mitigates organizational slack and improves upon productive efficiency relative to cost-plus mechanisms. Moreover, when executive compensations are conditioned on profits, an inverted-U shaped relationship between product market competition and managerial effort obtains. Finally, we also show that when contractual instruments are endogenous, i.e., when shareholders can choose between profit- and cost-target rules, the equilibrium with profit-target contracts always exists and is the only one that survives to standard refinements.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.
Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551
Competing-contracts Product market competition X-inefficiency;
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