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Work-Related Perks, Agency Problems, and Optimal Incentive Contracts

  • Anthony Marino

    ()

    (USC)

  • Jan Zabojnik

    ()

    (Queen's University)

This paper examines the effects of work-related perks, such as corporate jets and limousines, nice offices, secretarial staff, etc., on the optimal incentive contract. In a linear contracting framework, perks characterized by complementarities between production and consumption improve the trade-off between incentives and insurance that determines the optimal contract for a risk-averse agent. We show that (i) the perk may be offered even if its direct consumption and productivity benefits are offset by its cost; (ii) the perk will be offered for free; (iii) agents in more uncertain production environments will receive more perks; (iv) senior executives should receive both more perks and stronger explicit incentives; and (v) better corporate governance can lead firms to award their CEOs more perks. Our analysis also offers insights into the firms’decisions about how much autonomy they should grant to their employees and about optimal perk provision when managers and workers are organized in teams.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1107.pdf
File Function: First version 2006
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Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1107.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1107
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  1. Paul Oyer, 2005. "Salary or Benefits?," NBER Working Papers 11817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Zabojnik, Jan, 1996. "Pay-performance sensitivity and production uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 291-296, December.
  3. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Wulf, Julie, 2006. "Are perks purely managerial excess?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-33, January.
  4. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Jed DeVaro, 2005. "The Effects of Self-Managed and Closely-Managed Teams on Labor Productivity and Product Quality: An Empirical Analysis of a Cross Section of Establishments," Labor and Demography 0510002, EconWPA.
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  7. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  9. Scott Schaefer, 1998. "The Dependence Of Pay--Performance Sensitivity On The Size Of The Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 436-443, August.
  10. 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.
  11. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  14. Hayes, Rachel M. & Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Co-worker Complementarity and the Stability of Top Management Teams," Research Papers 1846r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  15. Raith, Michael, 2004. "Specific Knowledge and Performance Measurement," CEPR Discussion Papers 4262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Weisbach, Michael S, 1998. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 96-118, March.
  17. Yermack, David, 2006. "Flights of fancy: Corporate jets, CEO perquisites, and inferior shareholder returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 211-242, April.
  18. Jed DeVaro, 2005. "Teams, Autonomy, and the Financial Performance of Firms," Labor and Demography 0508004, EconWPA.
  19. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  20. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
  21. Jan Zabojnik, 2002. "Centralized and Decentralized Decision Making in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-22, January.
  22. Ittner, Christopher D. & Lambert, Richard A. & Larcker, David F., 2003. "The structure and performance consequences of equity grants to employees of new economy firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-3), pages 89-127, January.
  23. Kole, Stacey R., 1997. "The complexity of compensation contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 79-104, January.
  24. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
  25. George P. Baker & Brian J. Hall, 2004. "CEO Incentives and Firm Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 767-798, October.
  26. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  27. Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
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