Why Are There Explicit Contracts of Employment?
In this paper we explain the prevalence of explicit contracts of employment, particularly those that embody high- rather than low-powered incentives and clauses that supersede the common law defaults. Our analysis is based on an understanding of two fundamental problems that arise when agency relationships are established between a worker and firm. The first is that agency relationships often require the creation of specific property rights in order for firm owners to realize productive efficiencies of scale or scope from agency. The second is that the economic characteristics of the agency relationship, which generally entail the transfer of specific "process rights" to agents, are often quite different from the nature of agency characterized in and supported by the common law. The implication is that implicit employment contracts supported by the common law are incapable of effectively governing employment relationship characterized by these two problems. Thus, explicit contractual provisions are required in the employment relationship.
|Date of creation:||04 Feb 2002|
|Note:||Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 25; figures: none|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972.
"Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
- Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- White, William D., 1992. "Information and the control of agents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 111-117, June.
- 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.
- Fumas, Vincente Salas, 1993. "Incentives and supervision in hierarchies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 315-331, August.
- Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-139, May.
- Cheung, Steven N S, 1983. "The Contractual Nature of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-21, April.
- Moore, John, 1992. "The firm as a collection of assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 493-507, April.
- Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-161, Spring.
- Hirao, Yukiko, 1993. "Task Assignment and Agency Structures," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 299-323, Summer.
- Valsecchi, Irene, 1996. "Policing Team Production through Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 361-375, October.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, "undated". "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Sanford J Grossman & Oliver D Hart, 2001. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000339, David K. Levine.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
- Stiglitz, J.E., 1988. "Principal And Agent," Papers 12, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
- Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. "The Logic of Economic Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 65-93, Spring.
- Minkler, Alanson P., 1993. "Knowledge and internal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-30, May.
- Masten, Scott E, 1988. "A Legal Basis for the Firm," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 181-198, Spring.
- James Jr., Harvey S., 1998. "Are employment and managerial control equivalent? Evidence from an electronics producer," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 447-471, September.
- Harvey S. James Jr, 2000. "Separating contract from governance," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 47-61. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0202001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.