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How Reform Worked in ChinaThe Transition from Plan to Market$
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Yingyi Qian

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262534246

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262534246.001.0001

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Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form

Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form

Chapter:
(p.333) 11 Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form
Source:
How Reform Worked in China
Author(s):

Yingyi Qian

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262534246.003.0012

We model an organization as a hierarchy of managers erected on top of a technology (here consisting of a collection of plants). In our framework, the role of a manager is to take steps to reduce the adverse consequences of shocks that affect the plants beneath him. We argue that different organizational forms give rise to different information about managers’ performance and therefore differ according to how effective incentives can be in encouraging a good performance. In particular, we show that, under certain assumptions, the M-form (multi-divisional form) is likely to provide better incentives than the U-form (unitary form) because it promotes yardstick competition (i.e., relative performance evaluation) more effectively. We conclude by presenting evidence that the assumptions on which this comparison rests are satisfied for Chinese data.

Keywords:   Manager performance, Organizational forms, Incentives, Information, M-form, U-form

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