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Contract Mix and Ownership

Author

Listed:
  • Chong-en Bai

    () (Boston College)

  • Zhigang Tao

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

This paper analyzes a model with many homogeneous agents, whose effort can be allocated to two tasks. One task produces a public good that is an important input for the production of the final output. The other task only affects the agent's own output. We show that, when the public input and the private input are complementary, the principal should offer a fixed-wage contract to some agents and a revenue-sharing contract to the remaining agents. Furthermore, we show that, when the ex ante contracts are subject to ex post renegotiation, agents with the fixed-wage contract should not own any asset, whereas agents with the revenue-sharing contract should own the physical asset in which the private input is embedded. Meanwhile, the principal should retain residual rights of control over the public good. This paper offers an explanation of the co-existence of company-owned units and franchised units in a franchise company. It adopts and extends important features from both the multi-task theory of the firm and the incomplete-contract theory of the firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Chong-en Bai & Zhigang Tao, 1997. "Contract Mix and Ownership," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 345., Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:345
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn L. Shaw, 1999. "The Dynamics of Franchise Contracting: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 1041-1080, October.
    2. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    3. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124.
    4. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
    5. Brickley, James A. & Dark, Frederick H., 1987. "The choice of organizational form The case of franchising," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 401-420, June.
    6. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    7. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    8. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    9. Gallini, Nancy T & Lutz, Nancy A, 1992. "Dual Distribution and Royalty Fees in Franchising," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 471-501, October.
    10. Kaufmann, Patrick J & Lafontaine, Francine, 1994. "Costs of Control: The," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 417-453, October.
    11. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    12. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-837, September.
    13. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-230, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorolfur Matthiasson, 1997. "Fixed wage or share: Contingent contract renewal and skipper motivation," Labor and Demography 9702002, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contract mix; ownership structure; contractual incompleteness; multitask; franchise;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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