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Contractual Structure and Endogenous Matching in Partnerships

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  • Ghatak, Maitreesh
  • Karaivanov, Alexander

Abstract

We analyze optimal contracts and optimal matching patterns in a simple model of partnership where there is a double-sided moral hazard problem and potential partners differ in their productivity in two tasks. It is possible for one individual to accomplish both tasks (sole production) and there are no agency costs associated with this option but partnerships are a better option if comparative advantages are significant. We show that the presence of moral hazard can reverse the optimal matching pattern relative to the first best, and that even if partnerships are optimal for an exogenously given pair of types, they may not be observed in equilibrium when matching is endogenous, suggesting that empirical studies on agency costs are likely to underestimate their extent by focusing on the intensive margin and ignoring the extensive margin.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8298.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8298

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Keywords: contractual structure; endogenous matching; partnerships;

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  1. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
  2. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2002. "Monotone Matching in Perfect and Imperfect Worlds," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 925-942.
  3. Dam Kaniska & Perez-Castrillo David, 2006. "The Principal-Agent Matching Market," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, August.
  4. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Ackerberg, D.A. & Botticini, M., 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 96, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  6. Pierre André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory: A Survey of Some Recent Work," CESifo Working Paper Series 738, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Chakraborty, Archishman & Citanna, Alessandro, 2005. "Occupational choice, incentives and wealth distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 206-224, June.
  8. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171, January.
  9. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "A Market Equilibrium Theory of Job Assignment and Sequential Accumulation of Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1038-55, December.
  10. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Risk sharing vs. incentives: Contract design under two-sided heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 343-349, September.
  11. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Karaivanov, Alexander, 2013. "Contractual Structure in Agriculture with Endogenous Matching," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 120, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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