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Incentive Contracts and Total Factor Productivity

  • Benjamin Bental
  • Dominique Demougin

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.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0325.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0325
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  1. Shi Shouyong, 1997. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Working Papers 966, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 525-51, August.
  4. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  5. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Building blocks for barriers to riches," Staff Report 288, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. 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.
  7. 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, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  8. 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-, December.
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