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Incentive Contracts and Total Factor Productivity

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  • Benjamin Bental
  • Dominique Demougin

Abstract

This paper focuses on the endogenous determination of effort as a source of productivity growth. The economy is populated by infinitely lived households. Every period, members of each household may choose whether to be self-employed or become employees in a "corporate sector". Labor relations in the corporate sector are characterized by a double-moral hazard problem. To induce effort, the optimal labor contract stipulates for a bonus. Nevertheless, due to double moral hazard, employees extract some rents. As the economy grows, employees' rents increase, thereby raising the marginal benefit of monitoring. The ensuing changes in the optimal labor contract induce higher effort along the growth path. The model creates an endogenous association between growth and total factor productivity, and demonstrates that substantial cross-country productivity differences may be ascribed to differences in incentive structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Bental & Dominique Demougin, 2003. "Incentive Contracts and Total Factor Productivity," Cahiers de recherche 0325, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0325
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "Mechanism Sufficient Statistic in the Risk-Neutral Agency Problem," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 622-622, December.
    2. Shi, Shouyong, 1998. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 314-352, August.
    3. Edward C. Prescott & Stephen L. Parente, 1999. "Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1216-1233, December.
    4. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-551, August.
    5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    6. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Building blocks for barriers to riches," Staff Report 288, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    8. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jerger, Jürgen & Michaelis, Jochen, 2011. "The fixed wage puzzle: Why profit sharing is so hard to implement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 104-106, February.
    2. Abián García-Rodríguez & Fernando Sánchez-Losada, 2014. "R&D poverty traps," UB Economics Working Papers 2014/307, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    3. Hernando Zuleta, 2015. "Getting Growth Accounting Right," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 013814, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    4. Carlos Lamarche, 2013. "Industry-wide work rules and productivity: evidence from Argentine union contract data," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, December.
    5. Stephane Straub, 2011. "Infrastructure and Development: A Critical Appraisal of the Macro-level Literature," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 683-708.
    6. Bental, Benjamin & Demougin, Dominique, 2010. "Declining labor shares and bargaining power: An institutional explanation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 443-456, March.
    7. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet & Carsten Helm, 2006. "Output and wages with inequality averse agents," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-413, May.
    8. Benjamin Bental & Dominique Demougin, 2006. "Institutions, Bargaining Power and Labor Shares," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    9. Dominique Demougin & Anja Schöttner, 2010. "Technology adoption under hidden information," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 1-18, May.
    10. Matthias Kräkel, 2008. "On Adverse Selection of Technologies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(2), pages 343-355, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentive contracts; Total factor productivity; Economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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