Work Ethic, Employment Contracts, and Firm Value
48 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2007 Last revised: 18 May 2008
We analyze how the work ethic of managers impacts a firm's employment contracts, riskiness, growth potential, and organizational structure. Flat contracts are optimal for diligent managers because they reduce risk-sharing costs, but they attract egoistic agents who shirk and unskilled agents who add no value. Stable, bureaucratic firms with low growth potential are more likely to gain value from managerial diligence. Firms that hire from a virtuous pool of agents are more conservative in their investments and have a horizontal corporate structure. Our theory also yields several testable implications that distinguish it from standard agency models.
Keywords: agency theory, compensation contracts, ethics, virtue, incentives, firm structure, labor market
JEL Classification: G30, J30, M14, J41, L23, D21, D69
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