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Incentive Contracts And Total Factor Productivity

  • Benjamin Bental
  • Dominique Demougin

We propose a transactions cost theory of total factor productivity (TFP). In a world with asymmetric information and transactions costs, productivity must be induced by incentive schemes. Labor contracts trade off marginal benefits and costs of effort. The latter include, in addition to the workers' marginal disutility of effort, organizational costs and rents. As the economy grows, contracts change endogenously, inducing higher effort and productivity. Transactions costs are also affected by societal characteristics that determine the power of incentives. Differences in these characteristics may explain cross-economy productivity differences. Numerical experiments demonstrate the model's consistency with time-series and cross-country observations. Copyright 2006 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 1033-1055

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:47:y:2006:i:3:p:1033-1055
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  1. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  2. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "Mechanism Sufficient Statistic in the Risk-Neutral Agency Problem," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 622-, December.
  3. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Building blocks for barriers to riches," Staff Report 288, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Shi, Shouyong, 1998. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 314-352, August.
  7. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward C. Prescott & Stephen L. Parente, 1999. "Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1216-1233, December.
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