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Separation of Ownership and Control: Delegation as a Commitment Device

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  • Aristotelis Boukouras

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical model for explaining the separation of ownership and control in firms. An entrepreneur hires a worker, whose eff ort is necessary for running a project. The worker\'s eff ort determines the probability that the project will be completed on time, but the worker receives some unobservable benefi t by continuing his employment in the project. Thus, motivating the worker requires an efficiency wage which is inflated by the private benefit. The entrepreneur would pay out a smaller wage if he could commit to terminate the project if a delay occurs, but this threat is not credible, because the project has positive continuation value. We show that hiring a manager can solve this time-inconsistency issue and reduce the efficiency wage. We extend the model to include managerial moral hazard and we examine the conditions under which separation of ownership and control is more likely to happen. The model is consistent with many of the findings of the empirical literature, while it generates some new predictions too.

Suggested Citation

  • Aristotelis Boukouras, 2011. "Separation of Ownership and Control: Delegation as a Commitment Device," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 79, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:079
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_79.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    control structure; delegation; efficiency wage; entrepreneur; managerial contract; moral hazard; organizational hierarchy; private bene fits; separation of owner-ship and control; time-inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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