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Monopoly Power and Expense-Preference Behavior: Theory and Evidence to the Contrary

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  • Michael Smirlock
  • William Marshall

Abstract

The expense-preference theory of the firm implies that in noncompetitive product markets, managers hire labor beyond the profit-maximizing level. This theory has recently received empirical support from Edwards (1977) and Hannan and Mavinga (1980). In this article it is shown that for expense-preference behavior to exist, the effectiveness of the technology for conflict control between shareholders and managers must be related to market structure, which is a tenuous proposition. Further, once differences in monitoring costs due to variation in firm size are controlled for, the empirical evidence supports managerial profit-maximizing rather than expense-preference behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Smirlock & William Marshall, 1983. "Monopoly Power and Expense-Preference Behavior: Theory and Evidence to the Contrary," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 166-178, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:14:y:1983:i:spring:p:166-178
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    Cited by:

    1. Loretta J. Mester, 1989. "Owners versus managers: who controls the bank?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 13-23.
    2. Poltavets Ivan, 2005. "Productivity Differential and Competition: Can an Old Dog be Taught New Tricks?," EERC Working Paper Series 05-09e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    3. Mahmood Araï & Gérard Ballot & Ali Skalli, 1996. "Différentiels intersectoriels de salaire et caractéristiques des employeurs en France," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 299(1), pages 37-58.
    4. Nickell, Stephen, 1999. "Product markets and labour markets1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, March.
    5. Wang, David Han-Min, 2010. "Corporate investment, financing, and dividend policies in the high-tech industry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 486-489, May.
    6. Neuberger, Doris, 1997. "Structure, Conduct and Performance in Banking Markets," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 12, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    7. Sirajo Aliyu & Rosylin Mohd Yusof, 2016. "Profitability and Cost Efficiency of Islamic Banks: A Panel Analysis of Some Selected Countries," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 1736-1743.
    8. Yamori, Nobuyoshi, 1998. "Bureaucrat-managers and corporate governance: expense-preference behaviors in Japanese financial institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 385-389, December.

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