Transactions Costs and Internal Labor Markets
AbstractThe concept of transactions costs used by Coase in "The Nature of the Firm" is applied to the internal labor market of an organization. Under joint production it is shown that the number of transaction-specific prices necessary to decentralize labor allocations rises geometrically with the size of the work force. Complexity of calculation and costs of implementation constrains the possibilities for internal decentralization through a price mechanism and substitutes a more authoritarian system of allocation instead. These same issues of complexity and implementation costs limit the usefulness of agency theory as a conceptual framework for this problem. The analysis suggests that an internal labor market must be viewed in a more comprehensive framework of a personnel management system.
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 2407.
Date of creation: Oct 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Rosen, Sherwin. "Transactions Costs and Internal Labor Markets." Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 4, No. 1, (Spring 1988), pp. 49-64.
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:
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.:
- Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
- Tjalling C. Koopmans & Martin J. Beckmann, 1955. "Assignment Problems and the Location of Economic Activities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 4, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Paul R. Milgrom., 1987.
"Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design,"
Economics Working Papers
8741, University of California at Berkeley.
- Milgrom, Paul R, 1988. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
- Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
- Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983.
"A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts,"
3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Joskow, Paul L, 1987. "Contract Duration and Relationship-Specific Investments: Empirical Evidence from Coal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 168-85, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Breton, Albert & Wintrobe, Ronald, 1986. "The Bureaucracy of Murder Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 905-26, October.
- Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
- Sanford J Grossman & Oliver D Hart, 2001.
"An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
391749000000000339, David K. Levine.
- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-48, September.
- D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
- Martin Gaynor & Mark Pauly, 1987. "Alternative Compensation Arrangements and Productive Efficiency in Partnerships: Evidence from Medical Group Practice," NBER Working Papers 2170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kennan, John, 1979. "Bonding and the enforcement of labor contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 61-66.
- O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
- Hall, Robert E, 1982.
"The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-24, September.
- Robert E. Hall, 1984. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 0560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joesph E. Stiglitz, 1975. "Incentives, Risk, and Information: Notes Towards a Theory of Hierarchy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 552-579, Autumn.
- Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
- Brynjolfsson, Erik., 1991.
"An incomplete contracts theory of information, technology and organization,"
#126. Working paper (Sloa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Erik Brynjolffson, 1991. "An Incomplete Contracts Theory of Information, Technology and Organization," Working Paper Series 126, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
- Kirsten Foss, 1998. "Technological Interdependencies,Specialization and Coordination A Property Rights Perspective on The Nature of the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 98-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- James Jr., Harvey S., 1998. "Are employment and managerial control equivalent? Evidence from an electronics producer," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 447-471, September.
- Antoine Renucci & Frédéric Loss, 2004.
"When Promotions Induce Good Managers to Be Lazy,"
Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings
263, Econometric Society.
- Arnaldo Camuffo, 2002. "The Changing Nature of Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 281-294, December.
- Richardson, Alan J. & Kilfoyle, Eksa, 2009. "Accounting in markets, hierarchies and networks: The role of accounting in the transnational governance of postal transactions," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 939-956, November.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
- Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.