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Work Ethic, Employment Contracts, and Firm Value

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  • BRUCE IAN CARLIN
  • SIMON GERVAIS

Abstract

We analyze how the work ethic of managers impacts a firm's employment contracts, riskiness, growth potential, and organizational structure. Flat contracts are optimal for diligent managers because they reduce risk-sharing costs, but they attract egoistic agents who shirk and unskilled agents who add no value. Stable, bureaucratic firms with low growth potential are more likely to gain value from managerial diligence. Firms that hire from a virtuous pool of agents are more conservative in their investments and have a horizontal corporate structure. Our theory also yields several testable implications that distinguish it from standard agency models. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Ian Carlin & Simon Gervais, 2009. "Work Ethic, Employment Contracts, and Firm Value," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 785-821, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:2:p:785-821
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Tichem, 2013. "Endogenous Effort Norms in Hierarchical Firms," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-198/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Liang, H. & Renneboog, Luc, 2017. "Corporate Employee-Engagement and Merger Outcomes," Discussion Paper 2017-011, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Niessen-Ruenzi, Alexandra, 2008. "Is Executive Compensation Shaped by Public Attitudes?," CFR Working Papers 08-09, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    4. Macias, Antonio & Pirinsky, Christo, 2015. "Employees and the market for corporate control," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 33-53.
    5. Tania Babina & Paige P. Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2017. "Going Entrepreneurial? IPOs and New Firm Creation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-022, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jörgen, 2015. "Pay Schemes, Bargaining, and Competition for Talent," Working Paper Series 1100, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. Arce, Daniel G., 2013. "Principals’ preferences for agents with social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 154-163.
    8. Carlin, Bruce Ian & Dorobantu, Florin & Viswanathan, S., 2009. "Public trust, the law, and financial investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 321-341, June.
    9. repec:fau:fauart:v:68:y:2018:i:1:p:34-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mine Ertugrul, 2013. "Employee-Friendly Acquirers And Acquisition Performance," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 36(3), pages 347-370, September.
    11. Edmans, Alex, 2011. "Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 621-640, September.
    12. Tania Babina & Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2017. "Going Entrepreneurial? IPOs and New Firm Creation," Working Papers 17-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Huang, Minjie & Li, Pingshu & Meschke, Felix & Guthrie, James P., 2015. "Family firms, employee satisfaction, and corporate performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 108-127.

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