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Incentives between Firms (And within)

Robert Gibbons
Management Science
Vol. 51, No. 1, Incentives and Coordination in Operations Management (Jan., 2005), pp. 2-17
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20110303
Page Count: 16
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Incentives between Firms (And within)
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Abstract

This paper reviews the significant progress in "agency theory" (i.e., the economic theory of incentives) during the 1990s, with an eye toward applications to supply transactions. I emphasize six recent models, in three pairs: (1) new foundations for the theory of incentive contracts, (2) new directions in incentive theory, and (3) new applications to supply transactions. By reviewing these six models, I hope to establish three things. First, the theory of incentive contracts needed and received new foundations. Second, new directions in incentive theory teach us that incentive contracts are not the only source of incentives. Finally (and especially relevant to supply transactions), the integration decision is an instrument in the incentive problem.

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