IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejtec/vadvances.1y2001i1n4.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Incentives and Coordination in Hierarchies

Author

Listed:
  • Mookherjee Dilip

    () (Boston University)

  • Reichelstein Stefan

    () (UC Berkeley)

Abstract

The internal organization of large firms as well as procurement and regulation contexts frequently involve a hierarchical nexus of contracts, with substantial delegation of decision making across layers. Such hierarchical delegation of decision making creates problems of aligning incentives of vertically related agents, and coordinating the actions of different branches of the hierarchy. In a principal-agent setting with private information, it is shown that under certain assumptions (top-down contracting, observability of subcontracting outcomes, absence of limited liability constraints) the hierarchy can implement second-best allocations. Incentive problems are overcome via compensations that are linear in a measure of performance of the concerned department, defined as the difference between a measure of imputed revenues and procurement costs. The coordination problem is overcome by conditioning output targets and payments on cost reports submitted by other branches; despite this, agents' strategies are dominant with respect to the behavior of members of other branches. The result provides conditions for the lack of a `control loss' from hierarchical decentralization of decision making, owing to incentive or coordination problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Mookherjee Dilip & Reichelstein Stefan, 2001. "Incentives and Coordination in Hierarchies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:advances.1:y:2001:i:1:n:4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejte.2001.1.issue-1/bejte.2001.1.1.1009/bejte.2001.1.1.1009.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2015. "Pessimistic information gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-96.
    2. Jonathan Treussard, 2005. "Life-Cycle Consumption Plans and Portfolio Policies in a Heath-Jarrow-Morton Economy," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-033, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Chongwoo Choe & In-Uck Park, 2008. "Information Gathering, Delegated Contracting And Corporate Hierarchies," Monash Economics Working Papers 19/08, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    4. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & David Martimort, 2013. "The Cost of Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from the Local Public Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2352-2383, October.
    5. Choe, Chongwoo, 2002. "Delegated Contracting and Corporate Hierarchies," CEI Working Paper Series 2002-7, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    6. Staffan Canback & Phillip Samouel & David Price, 2003. "Strategy and structure in interaction: What determines the boundaries of the firm?," Industrial Organization 0303003, EconWPA, revised 17 Mar 2003.
    7. Dequiedt, Vianney & Martimort, David, 2004. "Delegated monitoring versus arm's-length contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 951-981, September.
    8. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2005:i:13:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Canton, Joan & De Cara, Stéphane & Jayet, Pierre-Alain, 2009. "Agri-environmental schemes: Adverse selection, information structure and delegation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2114-2121, May.
    10. Roy, Jaideep & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2009. "Public-private partnerships in micro-finance: Should NGO involvement be restricted?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 200-208, November.
    11. Baliga, Sandeep & Sjostrom, Tomas, 1998. "Decentralization and Collusion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 196-232, December.
    12. Staffan Canback, 1998. "Managerial diseconomies of scale: Literature survey and hypotheses anchored in transaction cost economics," Industrial Organization 9810001, EconWPA, revised 04 Oct 2002.
    13. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2015. "Pessimistic information gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-96.
    14. Cho, Myeonghwan, 2010. "Efficient structure of organization with heterogeneous workers," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1125-1139, November.
    15. Theilen, Bernd, 2009. "Market Competition and Lower Tier Incentives," Working Papers 2072/15843, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:advances.1:y:2001:i:1:n:4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.