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Contractual Structure and Endogenous Matching in Partnershipso

  • Maitreesh Ghatak
  • Alexander Karaivanov

We analyze optimal contracts and optimal matching patterns in a simple model of partnership where there is a double-sided moral hazard problem and potential partners differ in their productivity in two tasks. It is possible for one individual to accomplish both tasks (sole production) and there are no agency costs associated with this option but partnerships are a better option if comparative advantages are significant. We show that the presence of moral hazard can reverse the optimal matching pattern relative to the first best, and that even if partnerships are optimal for an exogenously given pair of types, they may not be observed in equilibrium when matching is endogenous, suggesting that empirical studies on agency costs are likely to underestimate their extent by focusing on the intensive margin and ignoring the extensive margin.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/eopp/eopp24.pdf
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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series with number 024.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:024
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Pierre André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory: A Survey of Some Recent Work," CESifo Working Paper Series 738, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Archishman Chakraborty & Alessandro Citanna, . "Occupational choice, incentives and wealth distribution," GSIA Working Papers 225, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Kaniska Dam & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2001. "The Principal-Agent Matching Market," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 503.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F, 2002. "Monotone Matching in Perfect and Imperfect Worlds," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 925-42, October.
  5. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 2002. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 564-591, June.
  6. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  7. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "A Market Equilibrium Theory of Job Assignment and Sequential Accumulation of Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1038-55, December.
  8. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
  9. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Risk sharing vs. incentives: Contract design under two-sided heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 343-349, September.
  10. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171, January.
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