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A Theory of Sales Quotas with Limited Liability and Rent Sharing

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  • Oyer, Paul

Abstract

Sales quotas are a fixture of sales compensation plans and are often associated with a significant discrete bonus. This paper shows that, under certain assumptions about salesperson utility and the distribution of sales outcomes, the optimal compensation is a discrete bonus for meeting a sales quota. The results are similar when the assumption of agent risk neutrality is relaxed. The model has implications for many moral hazard problems where the agent has a liability limitation and job-specific skill. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Oyer, Paul, 2000. "A Theory of Sales Quotas with Limited Liability and Rent Sharing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 405-426, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:405-26
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Paul Oyer, 1998. "Fiscal Year Ends and Nonlinear Incentive Contracts: The Effect on Business Seasonality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 149-185.
    3. Anne T. Coughlan & Subrata K. Sen, 1989. "Salesforce Compensation: Theory and Managerial Implications," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 324-342.
    4. Jagmohan S. Raju & V. Srinivasan, 1996. "Quota-Based Compensation Plans for Multiterritory Heterogeneous Salesforces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(10), pages 1454-1462, October.
    5. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-1190, September.
    6. Amiya K. Basu & Rajiv Lal & V. Srinivasan & Richard Staelin, 1985. "Salesforce Compensation Plans: An Agency Theoretic Perspective," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 267-291.
    7. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    9. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    10. Park, Eun-Soo, 1995. "Incentive Contracting under Limited Liability," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 477-490, Fall.
    11. Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
    12. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
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