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Managerial incentives under competitive pressure: Experimental investigation


  • Ahmed Ennasri
  • Marc Willinger


We investigate the effects of competition on managerial incentives and effort in a laboratory experiment. Each owner offers compensation to his manager in two different contexts: monopoly and Cournot duopoly. After accepting the compensation, the manager chooses an effort level to increase the probability of reduced costs of his firm. Theory predicts that the entry of a rival firm in a monopolistic industry affects negatively both the incentive compensation and the effort level. Our experimental findings confirm that the entry of a rival firm reduces the incentive compensation but not the manager’s effort level. However, despite the reduction of the incentive compensation, the manager continues to accept the contract offers and exert the same level of effort.

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  • Ahmed Ennasri & Marc Willinger, 2011. "Managerial incentives under competitive pressure: Experimental investigation," Working Papers 11-12, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:11-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Stephen, 1993. "Endogenous Firm Efficiency in a Cournot Principal-Agent Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 445-450, April.
    2. François Cochard & Marc Willinger, 2005. "Fair Offers in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship with Hidden Actions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 225-240, May.
    3. Januszewski, Silke I. & Koke, Jens & Winter, Joachim K., 2002. "Product market competition, corporate governance and firm performance: an empirical analysis for Germany," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 299-332, September.
    4. Michael Raith, 2003. "Competition, Risk, and Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1425-1436, September.
    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
    7. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Keser, Claudia & Willinger, Marc, 2007. "Theories of behavior in principal-agent relationships with hidden action," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1514-1533, August.
    9. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    10. Horn, Henrik & Lang, Harald & Lundgren, Stefan, 1994. "Competition, long run contracts and internal inefficiencies in firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 213-233, February.
    11. repec:lmu:muenar:19529 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed Ennasri, 2011. "An experimental analysis of the existing differences of productivity across genders," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 3304-3310.

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    Managerial Incentives; Effort; Competition; Moral hazard; Experiments;

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