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Should You Allow Your Agent to Become Your Competitor? On Non-Compete Agreements in Employment Contracts

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  • Kräkel, Matthias
  • Sliwka, Dirk

Abstract

We discuss a principal-agent model in which the principal has the opportunity to include a non-compete agreement in the employment contract. We show that not imposing such an agreement can be beneficial for the principal as the possibility to leave the firm generates implicit incentives for the agent. The principal prefers to impose such a clause if and only if the value created is sufficiently small relative to the agent's outside option. If the principal can use an option con- tract for retaining the agent, she will never prefer a strict non-compete agreement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 99.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:99

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Keywords: fine; incentives; incomplete contracts; non-compete agreements; option contract;

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References

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  1. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "The interaction of explicit and implicit contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 193-199, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  5. Hellmann, Thomas F & Perotti, Enrico C, 2006. "The Circulation of Ideas: Firms Versus Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
  7. Ariel Pakes & Shmuel Nitzan, 1982. "Optimum Contracts for Research Personnel, Research Employment, and the Establishment of "Rival" Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 0871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  9. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  10. Matthias Krakel, 2005. "On the Benefits of Withholding Knowledge in Organizations," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 193-209.
  11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm As A Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory Of The Origins And Growth Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851, August.
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  1. “Should You Allow Your Agent to Be Your Competitor?,” M. Kräkel & D. Sliwka (2009)
    by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2012-12-16 09:31:44
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Cited by:
  1. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2010. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent is Free to Leave," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 329, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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