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Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Jahrgang 2013


Titel Three Essays in Applied Microeconomics
Autor Christoph Wagner
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract This thesis consists of three chapters each considering a specific part of firm activity.
Chapter 1 focuses on a company that has to defend herself against a competitor who tries to raid parts of her workforce. This is a vital topic for many firms. Just recently, in 2011, the American Department of Justice prohibited no-employee-poaching agreements among six major high-tech enterprises in the US. There are two major contributions of this chapter: First, there does not exist any research so far that is directly concerned with how companies should defend themselves against employee raids. We explain how poaching can be contained even if the raider uses incentive contracts to solicit employees and the current employer cannot match outside offers. To this end we present a novel information rent argument to construct a defense mechanism. Second, in most models of the literature the average pool of poached workers consists of low-ability types. In reality, however, mostly high-ability types switch jobs despite their higher wages. While there are models that account for this feature, turnover heavily relies on the fact that the raiding firm has a higher valuation than the current employer for these workers. We provide an additional strategic explanation which is consistent with this observation, even when workers have the same productivity in the raiding company.
Chapter 2 deals with optimal incentive provision for one of the most important part of the firm's workforce: the management. In the standard principal-agent model of moral hazard, the agent and the principal know which distribution over profits is induced by each effort level. If the owner of a firm hires a new manager, however, especially in the initial phase, the owner has superior knowledge about the manager's influence on the firm. Thus, we modify the standard moral-hazard model by assuming that the stochastic relationship between effort and profits is private information of the principal. In the existing literature of informed-principal models with moral hazard, the principal's information acts distortive, i.e. the principal's payoff differs from the payoff in the standard model. In contrast, we identify in a general model a linear independence condition under which the principal's payoff is unaffected by his private information. For a special case of independent interest we show that this condition is also necessary. Both results give a new perspective on informed-principal models with moral hazard.
Finally, Chapter 3 is concerned with the firm's optimal distribution strategy for its goods. More specifically, we scrutinize the emergence of so-called shopping clubs, which are frequently used by firms in the apparel industry to distribute goods for clearance sales. Surprisingly, the business model of shopping clubs, an exclusive online sales platform for a selected community, is in dire contrast to their actual business conduct. We provide a different rationale for their appearance and build a two-period model that assigns clubs a relative cost advantage to traditional store distribution. While this assumption clarifies why shopping clubs are used for clearance sales, it raises the question why they are not also employed for regular sales. To explain this sales pattern, the firm in our model is assumed to be a durable-good monopolist that has to decide each period whether to distribute the good via his own store or a shopping club. In this case, the firm faces in the first period a tradeoff between selling at higher distribution costs and a loss over price control. We find that under sufficiently low cost differences, the monopolist uses his own shop for regular and the shopping club for clearance sales as can be observed.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 02.04.2013