DP3945 Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information

Author(s): Walter Novaes, Luigi Zingales
Publication Date: June 2003
Keyword(s): bureaucracy, organizations, turnover
JEL(s): D20, G30, L20
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=3945

Firms that maintain no formal record of actions and events would hardly be considered well managed. Yet, organizations that require the recording of actions and the filing of reports are often labeled ?bureaucratic? and inefficient. This Paper argues that the thin line between efficient management practices and inefficient bureaucracy is crossed to curb managerial agency costs in a multi-layer hierarchy. The model predicts that bureaucracy increases with the frequency of managerial turnover, and it establishes a link between bureaucracy, incentive schemes, and leverage in a cross-section of firms.