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Division of Labour and Directed Production

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  • Marisa Ratto
  • Wendelin Schnedler

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Abstract

We examine a situation where efforts on different tasks positively affect production but are not separately verifiable and where the manager (principal) and the worker (agent) have different ideas about how production should be carried out: agents prefer a less efficient way of production. We show that by dividing labour (assigning tasks to different agents and verifying that agents do not carry out tasks to which they are not assigned), it is possible for the principal to implement the efficient way of production. Colluding agents can undermine this implementation. However, if agents have different abilities, collusion can be prevented by a specific assignment of agents tasks.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp126.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 05/126.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:05/126

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Keywords: hidden action; moral hazard; specialisation; job design;

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  1. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 285-300, Summer.
  2. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  3. Canice Prendergast, 2003. "The Limits of Bureaucratic Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 929-958, October.
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  5. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts In The Presence Of Career Concerns: Theory And Evidence," Working papers 563, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. repec:rus:hseeco:124059 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217, January.
  8. Jean Tirole, 1985. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies," Working papers 363, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Strausz, Roland, 1997. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 337-57, July.
  10. Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-45, April.
  11. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/071, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  12. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-76, July.
  13. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  14. Susan Athey & John Roberts, 2001. "Organizational Design: Decision Rights and Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 200-205, May.
  15. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
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