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Contracts with social multipliers

  • Mary A. Burke
  • Kislaya Prasad

We develop a model of contracting in which individual effort choices are subject to social pressure to conform to the average effort level of others in the same risk-sharing group. As in related models of social interactions, a change in exogenous variables or contract terms generates a social multiplier. In this environment, small differences in fundamentals such as skill or effort cost can lead to large differences in group productivity. We characterize the optimal contract for this environment and describe the properties of equilibria, properties that agree with stylized facts on effort compression in revenue-sharing settings. The model also implies potential sorting into groups on the basis of idiosyncratic effort costs. We estimate a significant social multiplier on physician productivity, using data on medical partnerships.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 05-17.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:05-17
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  1. Encinosa III, William E. & Gaynor, Martin & Rebitzer, James B., 2005. "The Sociology of Groups and the Economics of Incentives: Theory and Evidence on Compensation Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 1851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  3. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  4. Arcidiacono, Peter & Nicholson, Sean, 2005. "Peer effects in medical school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 327-350, February.
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  7. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  8. Ichino, Andrea & Maggi, Giovanni, 2000. "Work Environment And Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials In A Large Italian Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 2387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  11. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dutta, Jayasri & Prasad, Kislaya, 2002. "Stable risk-sharing," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-439, December.
  13. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1999. "Measuring Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1878, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  16. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:05 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
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