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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. 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.
  2. Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
  3. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
  4. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1980. "Contractural Models of the Labor Market," Discussion Papers 442, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
  11. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  12. Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
  13. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  14. Che,Y.K. & Yoo,S.W., 1998. "Optimal incentives for teams," Working papers 8, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  15. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Meyer, M.A. & Olsen, T.E. & Torsvik, G., 1995. "Limited Intertemporal Commitment and Job Design," Economics Papers 102, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  19. 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.
  20. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
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