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Credit, Incentives, and Reputation: A Hedonic Analysis of Contractual Wage Profiles

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  • Brandt, Loren
  • Hosios, Arthur J

Abstract

A hedonic analysis of principal-agent employment contracts is developed, in which workers and employers exchange labor services and contractual payment patterns, and is applied to contract data from a household-level survey in rural China in 1935. The results indicate that credit-market constraints motivated workers' and employers' contract choices; that shirking by workers rather than by employers was the dominant incentive issue; that reputational concerns rather than threats of termination were the key worker-disciplining device; and, finally, that a contract's third party acted as an enforcement device rather than as a matchmaker. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Brandt, Loren & Hosios, Arthur J, 1996. "Credit, Incentives, and Reputation: A Hedonic Analysis of Contractual Wage Profiles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1172-1226, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:104:y:1996:i:6:p:1172-1226
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    2. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "Efficient Estimation of Structural Hedonic Systems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 157-166, February.
    3. Bartik, Timothy J, 1987. "The Estimation of Demand Parameters in Hedonic Price Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 81-88, February.
    4. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    6. J. Luis Guasch & Andrew Weiss, 1982. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Wage—Productivity Gaps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 485-497.
    7. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
    8. Hutchens, Robert, 1986. "Delayed Payment Contracts and a Firm's Propensity to Hire Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 439-457, October.
    9. Bendor, Jonathan & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1990. "Norms, Third-Party Sanctions, and Cooperation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 33-63, Spring.
    10. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101.
    11. Diamond, Douglas Jr. & Smith, Barton A., 1985. "Simultaneity in the market for housing characteristics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 280-292, May.
    12. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1985. "Identifying Structural Equations with Single Market Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 525-529, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2013. "Credit within the Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 211-247.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2291-2372 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Loren Brandt & Debin Ma & Thomas G. Rawski, 2014. "From Divergence to Convergence: Reevaluating the History behind China's Economic Boom," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 45-123, March.
    5. Federico Etro & Silvia Marchesi & Laura Pagani, 2015. "The Labor Market In The Art Sector Of Baroque Rome," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 365-387, January.
    6. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS

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