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Incentives in Merchant Empires: Portuguese and Dutch Labor Compensation

  • Rei, Claudia

The different organizational structure of the Portuguese and Dutch merchant empires affected their ability to monitor workers. I test the theoretical implications of these differences using micro data of overseas workers' compensation from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. The two merchant empires used significantly different compensation structures: working for the king of Portugal corresponded to a higher bonus share of compensation on average than that of the Dutch East India Company. These results are consistent with theoretical implications and provide additional support to the historical evidence we have on the organizational structure of merchant empires.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28712.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28712
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  1. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  2. Murphy, Kevin J., 2000. "Performance standards in incentive contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 245-278, December.
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  9. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Did Vasco da Gama matter for European markets? -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(3), pages 655-684, 08.
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  11. Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101, February.
  12. Rei, Claudia, 2011. "The organization of Eastern merchant empires," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 116-135, January.
  13. Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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