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Information, Incentives, and Commitment: An Empirical Analysis of Contracts between Government and State Enterprises

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  • Shirley, Mary M
  • Xu, Lixin Colin

Abstract

This article analyzes the experience with performance contracts between developing country governments and the managers of their state owned enterprises. It identifies how problems of information asymmetry, incentives, and commitment can lead to shirking. It applies this conceptual framework to a sample of 12 contracts with monopoly state enterprises in six developing countries and finds that all suffer from serious contracting problems and there is no pattern of improved performance that can be attributed to the contracts. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 14 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 358-78

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:14:y:1998:i:2:p:358-78

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References

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  1. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1988. "Privatization: An Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720116, December.
  2. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  3. Shirley, Mary M., 1989. "Evaluating the performance of public enterprises in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 160, The World Bank.
  4. Nalebuff, Barry J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Information, Competition, and Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 278-83, May.
  5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  6. David E. M. Sappington, 1991. "Incentives in Principal-Agent Relationships," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 45-66, Spring.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  8. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  9. Nellis, J.R., 1989. "Contract Plans And Public Enterprise Performance," World Bank - Discussion Papers 48, World Bank.
  10. Freixas, Xavier & Guesnerie, Roger & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-91, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Klien, 2014. "Corporatization and the Behavior of Public Firms: How Shifting Control Rights Affects Political Interference in Water Prices," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 393-422, June.
  2. Jan, Stephen, 2003. "A perspective on the analysis of credible commitment and myopia in health sector decision making," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 269-278, March.
  3. Clarke, George R. G. & Gebreab, Frew A. & Mgombelo, Henry R., 2003. "Telecommunications reform in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3036, The World Bank.
  4. Andres, Luis Alberto & Guasch, Jose Luis & Azumendi, Sebastian Lopez, 2011. "Governance in state-owned enterprises revisited : the cases of water and electricity in Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5747, The World Bank.
  5. Clarke, George R.G. & Cull, Robert & Shirley, Mary M., 2005. "Bank privatization in developing countries: A summary of lessons and findings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 1905-1930, August.
  6. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "Can corporatization improve the performance of state-owned enterprises even without privatization?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 791-808, October.
  7. Recanatini, Francesca & Wallsten, Scott J. & Lixin Colin Xu, 2000. "Surveying surveys and questioning questions - learning from World Bank experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2307, The World Bank.
  8. Cook, Michael L. & Chaddad, Fabio R., 2000. "Agroindustrialization of the global agrifood economy: bridging development economics and agribusiness research," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 23(3), September.
  9. Clarke, George R.G. & Cull, Robert, 2005. "Bank privatization in Argentina: A model of political constraints and differential outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 133-155, October.
  10. Susanne Büchner & Luis Gonzalez & Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati, . "Incentive Contracts versus Trust in Three-Person Ultimatum Games - An Experimental Study," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-20, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  11. Hu, Fang & Tan, Weiqiang & Xin, Qingquan & Yang, Sixian, 2013. "How do market forces affect executive compensation in Chinese state-owned enterprises?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 78-87.
  12. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "Corporate governance and manager turnover: An unusual social experiment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1459-1481, June.
  13. Khaleghian, Peyvand & Gupta, Monica Das, 2005. "Public management and the essential public health functions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1083-1099, July.
  14. Cook, Michael L. & Chaddad, Fabio R., 2000. "Agroindustrialization of the global agrifood economy: bridging development economics and agribusiness research," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 207-218, September.
  15. Clarke, George R. G. & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2004. "Privatization, competition, and corruption: how characteristics of bribe takers and payers affect bribes to utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2067-2097, August.
  16. O'Connor, Neale G. & Deng, Johnny & Luo, Yadong, 2006. "Political constraints, organization design and performance measurement in China's state-owned enterprises," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 157-177, February.
  17. Eid, Florence, 2001. "Hospital governance and incentive design : the case of corporatized public hospitals in Lebanon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2727, The World Bank.

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