Contracting With Synergies
AbstractThis paper studies optimal contracting under synergies. We define influence as the extent to which effort by one agent reduces a colleague's marginal cost of effort, and synergy to be the sum of the (unidimensional) influence parameters across a pair of agents. In a two-agent model, effort levels are equal even if influence is asymmetric. The optimal effort level depends only on total synergy and not individual influence parameters. An increase in synergy raises total effort and total pay, consistent with strong equity incentives in small firms, including among low-level employees. The influence parameters matter only for individual pay. Pay is asymmetric, with the more influential agent being paid more, even though the level and productivity of effort are both symmetric. With three agents, effort levels differ and are higher for more synergistic agents. An increase in the synergy between two agents can lead to the third agent being excluded from the team, even if his productivity is unchanged. This has implications for optimal team composition and firm boundaries. Agents that influence a greater number of colleagues receive higher wages, consistent with the salary differential between CEOs and divisional managers.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17606.
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Note: CF LE LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2011-11-28 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2011-11-28 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-MIC-2011-11-28 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PPM-2011-11-28 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007.
"Employee sentiment and stock option compensation,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
- Jozsef Sakovics & Jakub Steiner, 2009.
"Who Matters in Coordination Problems?,"
ESE Discussion Papers
190, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008.
"Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
- Simon Gervais & Itay Goldstein, 2007. "The Positive Effects of Biased Self-Perceptions in Firms," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 11(3), pages 453-496.
- Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-68, June.
- Dessein, Wouter & Garicano, Luis & Gertner, Robert, 2007.
"Organizing for Synergies,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Eyal Winter, 2006. "Optimal incentives for sequential production processes," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 376-390, 06.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1982.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
- repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:376-390 is not listed on IDEAS
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.