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Product market competition and organizational slack under profit-target contracts

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  • Piccolo, Salvatore
  • D'Amato, Marcello
  • Martina, Riccardo

Abstract

In a framework à la Martin (1993) we introduce a common component in the managers' private information in order to address three related questions: What is the impact of contracts that reward managers on the basis of realized profits on firms' productive and allocative efficiency relative to cost-target contracts? How do these contracts shape the relationship between competition and organizational slack? Can we then explain the existing evidence of an inverted-U shaped relationship between competition and cost-reducing activities, as documented in Aghion et al. [Aghion, P., Bloom, N., Blundell, R., Griffith, R., Howitt, P., "Competition and innovation: an inverted-U Relationship", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120: pp. 701-728, 2005]? We show that profit-target contracts introduce a horizontal (contractual) externality between the competing firms that mitigates organizational slack and improves upon productive efficiency relative to cost-plus mechanisms. Moreover, when executive compensations are conditioned on profits, an inverted-U shaped relationship between product market competition and managerial effort obtains. Finally, we also show that when contractual instruments are endogenous, i.e., when shareholders can choose between profit- and cost-target rules, the equilibrium with profit-target contracts always exists and is the only one that survives to standard refinements.

Suggested Citation

  • Piccolo, Salvatore & D'Amato, Marcello & Martina, Riccardo, 2008. "Product market competition and organizational slack under profit-target contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1389-1406, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:6:p:1389-1406
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Michela Cella & Federico Etro, 2016. "Contract competition between hierarchies, managerial compensation and imperfectly correlated shocks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 193-218, July.
    3. Jun Chen & Zhiqi Chen, 2011. "The quiet life of a monopolist: The efficiency losses of monopoly reconsidered," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(3), pages 389-412, September.
    4. Evangelia Chalioti, 2015. "Incentive contracts under product market competition and R&D spillovers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(2), pages 305-328, February.
    5. Salvatore Piccolo & Emanuele Tarantino, 2011. "Managerial Compensations and Information Sharing under Moral Hazard: Is Transparency Good?," CSEF Working Papers 294, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Maria G. Romano, 2021. "R&D incentives and competitive pressure under hidden information," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(1), pages 56-78, July.
    7. Andergassen, Rainer, 2016. "Managerial compensation, product market competition and fraud," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-15.
    8. Bunn, Derek W. & Oliveira, Fernando S., 2016. "Dynamic capacity planning using strategic slack valuation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 253(1), pages 40-50.
    9. Dam, Kaniṣka & Robinson-Cortés, Alejandro, 2020. "Executive compensation and competitive pressure in the product market: How does firm entry shape managerial incentives?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 60-77.
    10. Limor Golan & Christine A. Parlour & Uday Rajan, 2015. "Competition, Managerial Slack, and Corporate Governance," The Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 43-68.
    11. Lacetera, Nicola & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2012. "Individual preferences, organization, and competition in a model of R&D incentive provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 550-570.
    12. Tat Y. Chan & Jia Li & Lamar Pierce, 2014. "Compensation and Peer Effects in Competing Sales Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(8), pages 1965-1984, August.
    13. Chalioti, Evangelia & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2017. "Strategic incentives for innovations and market competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 427-449.
    14. Alejandro Robinson Cortés, 2013. "Eficiencia Interna y Competencia de Mercado en Oligopolio," Undergraduate theses (Spanish) tesl001, CIDE, División de Economía.

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