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Relational Contracts and Job Design

  • Anja Schöttner

This paper analyzes the problem of optimal job design when there is only one contractible and imperfect performance measure for all tasks whose contribution to firm value is non-veritable. I find that task splitting is optimal when relational contracts based on firm value are not feasible. By contrast, if an agent who performs a given set of tasks receives an implicit bonus, the principal always benefits from assigning an additional task to this agent.

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File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2005-052.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2005
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2005-052.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2005-052
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  1. Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
  2. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
  3. Meyer, Margaret A. & Olsen, Trond E. & Torsvik, Gaute, 1996. "Limited intertemporal commitment and job design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 401-417, December.
  4. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jonathan Levin, 2000. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 01002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Klein, Benjamin, 1996. "Why Hold-Ups Occur: The Self-Enforcing Range of Contractual Relationships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 444-63, July.
  7. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1981. "Contractual Models of the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 308-13, May.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Teams," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
  10. Olsen, Trond E & Torsvik, Gaute, 2000. "Discretion and Incentives in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 377-404, July.
  11. Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-45, April.
  12. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1993. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," NBER Working Papers 4480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  14. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
  15. Itoh, Hideshi, 2001. "Job design and incentives in hierarchies with team production," Hitotsubashi Journal of commerce and management, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 36(1), pages 1-17, January.
  16. Demougin, Dominique M. & Fabel, Oliver, 2004. "The Determinants of Salary and Bonus for Rank and File Employees," Discussion Papers, Series I 327, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  17. Bentley MacLeod, 2001. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000036, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1998. "The Interaction of Implicit and Explicit Contracts in Repeated Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-96, April.
  19. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  20. Valsecchi, Irene, 1996. "Policing Team Production through Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 361-75, October.
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