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Optimal Job Design In The Presence Of Implicit Contracts

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  • Vasconcelos, Luis
  • Mukherjee, Arijit

Abstract

We characterize the optimal job design in a multitasking environment when the firms rely on implicit incentive contracts (i.e., bonus payments). Two natural forms of job design are compared: (i) individual accountability, where each agent is assigned to a particular job and assumes full responsibility for its outcome; and (ii) team accountability, where a group of agents share responsibility for a job and are jointly accountable for its outcome. The key trade-off is that team accountability mitigates the multitasking problem but may weaken the implicit contracts. The optimal job design follows a cut-off rule: firms with high reputation concerns opt for team accountability, whereas firms with low reputation concerns opt for individual accountability. Team accountability is more likely the more acute the multitasking problem is. However, the cut-off rule need not hold if the firm combines implicit incentives with explicit pay-per-performance contracts. JEL codes:

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  • Vasconcelos, Luis & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2010. "Optimal Job Design In The Presence Of Implicit Contracts," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp551, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp551
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    Cited by:

    1. Balmaceda, Felipe, 2016. "Optimal task assignments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Matthias Fahn & Hendrik Hakenes, 2014. "Teamwork as a Self-Disciplining Device," CESifo Working Paper Series 5131, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Joyee Deb & Jin Li & Arijit Mukherjee, 2015. "Relational Contracts with Subjective Peer Evaluations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1995, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2013. "Teams and Tournaments in Relational Contracts," Discussion Papers 2013/13, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    5. Bryson, Alex & Buraimo, Babatunde & Simmons, Rob, 2011. "Do salaries improve worker performance?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 424-433, August.
    6. Arijit Mukherjee & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Optimal job design in the presence of implicit contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 44-69, March.
    7. Saak, Alexander E., 2016. "Traceability and reputation in supply chains," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 149-162.
    8. Matthias Fahn & Hendrik Hakenes, 2014. "Teamwork as a Self-Disciplining Device," CESifo Working Paper Series 5131, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2016. "Teams in Relational Contracts," Discussion Papers 2016/23, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    10. Shingo Ishiguro & Yosuke Yasuda, 2018. "Moral Hazard and Target Budgets," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-03, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    11. Katolnik, Svetlana & Hakenes, Hendrik, 2014. "On the Incentive Effect of Job Rotation," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100574, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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