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Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information

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  • WALTER NOVAES
  • LUIGI ZINGALES

Abstract

Firms that maintain no formal record of actions and events would hardly be considered well managed. Yet, organizations that require the recording of actions and the filing of reports are often labelled ``bureaucratic" and inefficient. We argue that the thin line between efficient management practices and inefficient bureaucracy is crossed to curb managerial agency costs in a multilayer hierarchy. The model predicts that bureaucracy increases with the frequency of managerial turnover, and it establishes a link between bureaucracy, incentive schemes, and leverage in a cross-section of firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 477.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:477

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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  2. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  3. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  4. 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.
  5. Felli, Leonardo & Hortala-Vallve, Rafael, 2011. "Preventing Collusion through Discretion," CEPR Discussion Papers 8302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K, 1995. " Performance Changes Following Top Management Dismissals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-57, September.
  7. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Aaron S. Edlin, 1997. "Discouraging Rivals: Managerial Rent-Seeking and Economic Inefficiencies," NBER Working Papers 4145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gilson, Stuart C., 1989. "Management turnover and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 241-262, December.
  9. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Efficiency of Equity in Organizational Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 154-59, May.
  10. Prendergast, Canice J, 1995. "A Theory of Responsibility in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 387-400, July.
  11. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1990. " Capital Structure and the Informational Role of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 321-49, June.
  12. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
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