Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (3)
The Johns Hopkins University,: Ph.D., Economics 1997
University of Chicago: M.A., Economics 1992
University of Missouri-Columbia: B.S., Business Administration 1990
We develop a theory of incentives, wages, and employment in the context of team production. A central insight is that specialization and division of labor not only improve productivity but also increase effort and the sensitivity of effort to incentives under moral hazard. We show that employment and incentives are complements for the principal when the positive effects of specialization and division of labor outweigh the increase in risk associated with additional employment and are substitutes otherwise. We provide new characterizations of the partnership, the firm, and the role of the budget-breaker that are quite different from the classical literature.
Why do firms exist? What is their function? What do managers do? What is the role, if any, of social motivation in the market? In this paper, we address these questions with a new theory of the firm, which unites some major themes in management, principal-agent theory, and economic sociology. We show that although the market is a superior incentive mechanism, the firm has a comparative advantage with respect to social motivation. We then show that the market is efficient in environments that favor the provision of incentives, such as when subjective risk is low and ...
In this paper, we introduce the psychological concept of anxiety into agency theory. An important benchmark in the anxiety literature is the inverted-U hypothesis, which states that an increase in anxiety improves performance when anxiety is low, but reduces it when anxiety is high. We show that the inverted-U hypothesis is consistent with evidence that high-powered incentives can reduce the agent's optimal effort and expected performance. In equilibrium, however, a profit-maximizing principal never offers such counterproductive incentives. We also show that the ...
In this paper, we apply supermodular game theory to the equilibrium search literature with sequential search. We identify necessary and sufficient conditions for the pricing game to exhibit strategic complementarities and prove existence of equilibrium. We then show that price dispersion is inherently incompatible with strategic complementarities in the sense that the Diamond Paradox obtains when firms are identical and is robust within the class of search cost densities that are small near zero and support strategic complementarities. We also show that a ...
In this paper, we use a novel data set containing prices from bazaars, convenience stores, and supermarkets in Istanbul to re-examine the relationship between price dispersion and inflation. Although existing evidence is mixed, we find positive and significant relationships between dispersion, on the one hand, and lagged dispersion and unexpected product-specific inflation on the other. We also find evidence that dispersion is initially decreasing in anticipated aggregate inflation but is eventually increasing. Finally, average price duration and dispersion are lowest in the bazaar. This is intuitive, since menu and search costs should be minimal in that market structure.