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Optimal tolerance for failure

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  • Siegert, Caspar
  • Trepper, Piers

Abstract

We consider the problem of an employer who has to choose whether to reemploy agents with a positive track record or agents who were unsuccessful. While previously successful managers are likely to be of high ability, they have also accumulated wealth and will be harder to motivate in the future. It may hence be optimal to retain unsuccessful managers but not successful ones. The result that the optimal tenure of a manager may not be increasing in his success is consistent with empirical studies that find a low correlation between firm success and managerial turnover.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegert, Caspar & Trepper, Piers, 2015. "Optimal tolerance for failure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 41-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:109:y:2015:i:c:p:41-55
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.10.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Spear, Stephen E. & Wang, Cheng, 2005. "When to fire a CEO: optimal termination in dynamic contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 239-256, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning; Contracts; Bonus; Executive compensation; Employment decisions; Optimal tenure;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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