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Environmental Liability and Organizational Structure

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  • Laurent Franckx

    ()
    (Royal Military Academy)

  • F.P. de Vries

    (Department of Economics and CentER,Tilburg University, The Netherlands))

Abstract

This paper presents a multitask principal-agent model to examine how environmental liability rules for individual managers within a corporate hierarchy affect, on the one hand, the incentive schemes the organization provides and, on the other hand, the choice between a functional or a product-based organizational structure. If managers are risk neutral, a product-based organization dominates a functional organization and allows to obtain first-best effort level. If, moreover, there are no diseconomies of span, both organizational forms are equivalent. It is also shown that for the dominant function, effort levels are higher in a product-based organization than in a functional one. With risk averse managers, no organizational structure dominates the other in general, but we are able to identify under which conditions it does not matter who is held liable for environmental damages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment in its series Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series with number ete0401.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ete:etewps:ete0401

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Keywords: contracts; liability; firm structure; principal-agent;

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  1. Besanko, David & Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2000. "A Multi-Task Principal-Agent Approach to Organizational Form," CEPR Discussion Papers 2443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1993. "Should employees be subject to fines and imprisonment given the existence of corporate liability?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 239-257, September.
  3. Gabel H. Landis & Sinclair-Desgagne Bernard, 1993. "Managerial Incentives and Environmental Compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 229-240, May.
  4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  5. Malik Arun S., 1993. "Self-Reporting and the Design of Policies for Regulating Stochastic Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 241-257, May.
  6. Sinclair-Desgagne, Bernard, 1999. "How to Restore Higher-Powered Incentives in Multitask Agencies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 418-33, July.
  7. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "Symposium on Organizations and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 15-24, Spring.
  8. Fischel, Daniel R & Sykes, Alan O, 1996. "Corporate Crime," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 319-49, June.
  9. Segerson, Kathleen & Tietenberg, Tom, 1992. "The structure of penalties in environmental enforcement: An economic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, September.
  10. Arlen, Jennifer, 1994. "The Potentially Perverse Effects of Corporate Criminal Liability," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 832-67, June.
  11. Shavell, Steven, 1997. "The optimal level of corporate liability given the limited ability of corporations to penalize their employees," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 203-213, June.
  12. Cyrus Chu, C. Y. & Qian, Yingyi, 1995. "Vicarious liability under a negligence rule," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 305-322, September.
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