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Incentives, Reputation and the Allocation of Authority

Author

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  • Florian Englmaier
  • Ales Filipi
  • Ravi Singh

Abstract

We address the question how much authority a principal should delegate to a manager with conflicting interests and uncertain ability in a context in which the manager has both compensation-based and reputational incentives. The optimal level of authority balances the value of the manager's decision-making expertise against the cost of ensuring that the manager uses his discretion productively. Reputational incentives reduce the necessary monetary incentives to discourage purely opportunistic behavior, but may cause the manager to pursue conservative courses of action to preserve his reputation. This undermines the benefits of delegating control, leading to decreased managerial authority and stronger monetary incentives. When the principal can commit to long-term contracts, she eliminates this conservative bias by rewarding a successful manager with greater future compensation and authority than would be optimal in a static setting. Early in the relationship the principal may delegate additional authority in order to screen for managers of high ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Englmaier & Ales Filipi & Ravi Singh, 2010. "Incentives, Reputation and the Allocation of Authority," CESifo Working Paper Series 2979, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2979
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ester Manna & Alessandro De Chiara, 2016. "Delegation with a Reciprocal Agent," UB Economics Working Papers 2016/346, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    2. Miriam Schütte & Philipp Christoph Wichardt, 2013. "Delegation and Interim Performance Evaluation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4193, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Englmaier, Florian & Filipi, Ales & Singh, Ravi, 2010. "Incentives, reputation and the allocation of authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 413-427, November.
    4. Miriam Schütte & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2012. "Delegation in Long-Term Relationships," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 480, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. repec:hit:hitjec:v:58:y:2017:i:2:p:89-106 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agency problems; delegation; compensation contracts; job design; career concerns; managerial conservatism;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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