IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Technology, Information, and the Decentralization of the Firm

  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio
  • Van Reenen, John
  • Lelarge, Claire
  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Acemoglu, Daron

This paper analyzes the relationship between the diffusion of new technologies and the decentralization of firms. Centralized control relies on the information of the principal, which we equate with publicly available information. Decentralized control, on the other hand, delegates authority to a manager with superior information. However, the manager can use his informational advantage to make choices that are not in the best interest of the principal. As the available public information about the specific technology increases, the tradeoff shifts in favor of centralization. We show that firms closer to the technological frontier, firms in more heterogeneous environments, and younger firms are more likely to choose decentralization. Using three data sets on French and British firms in the 1990s, we report robust correlations consistent with these predictions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4481506/aghion_technologyinformation.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4481506.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4481506
Contact details of provider: Postal: Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-2144
Fax: 617-495-7730
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Wolfgang Keller, 2000. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 7509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Lisa M Lynch & Sandra E Black, 2002. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," Working Papers 02-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Nahum D. Melumad & Dilip Mookherjee & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Hierarchical Decentralization of Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 654-672, Winter.
  5. repec:dgr:kubcen:200692 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. J. A. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1980. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Working papers 255, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "On the design of hierarchies: coordination versus specialization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19340, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Claire Lelarge & John Van Reenen & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Technology, Information and the Decentralization of the Firm," CEP Discussion Papers dp0722, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1999. " Information Accumulation in Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-38, March.
  10. P. Aubert & E. Caroli & M. Roger, 2004. "New Technologies, Workplace Organisation and the Age Structure of the Workforce: Firm-Level Evidence," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2004-07, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  11. Nickell, Stephen & Nicolitsas, Daphne & Patterson, Malcolm, 2001. " Does Doing Badly Encourage Management Innovation?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 5-28, February.
  12. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  13. Geanakoplos, John & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "A theory of hierarchies based on limited managerial attention," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 205-225, September.
  14. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  15. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 551-572, June.
  16. Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
  17. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2004. "Contractibility and Asset Ownership: On-board Computers and Governance in U. S. Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1443-1479, November.
  18. Bolton, Patrick & Dewatripont, Mathias, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-39, November.
  19. Baron, David P & Besanko, David, 1992. "Information, Control, and Organizational Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 237-75, Summer.
  20. Raghuram Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2003. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," NBER Working Papers 9633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Roy RADNER & Timothy VAN ZANDT, 1992. "Information Processing in Firms and Returns to Scale," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 25-26, pages 265-298.
  22. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-210600 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Raaj Kumar Sah & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," NBER Working Papers 1334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm As A Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory Of The Origins And Growth Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851, August.
  25. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-46, September.
  26. Massimo G. Colombo & Marco Delmastro, 2004. "Delegation of Authority In Business Organizations: An Empirical Test," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 53-80, 03.
  27. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  28. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  29. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
  31. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  32. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590805 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Philippe Askenazy & David Thesmar & Mathias Thoenig, 2006. "On the Relation Between Organisational Practices and New Technologies: the Role of (Time Based) Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 128-154, 01.
  34. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521496032 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 1999. "Organizational Change in French Manufacturing: What Do We Learn From Firm Representatives and From Their Employees?," NBER Working Papers 7285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Bouwens, J.F.M.G. & van Lent, L.A.G.M., 2006. "Assessing the Performance of Business Unit Managers," Discussion Paper 2006-92, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4481506. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.