WorldCat Identities

Gibbons, Robert 1958-

Works: 57 works in 439 publications in 5 languages and 4,538 library holdings
Genres: Academic theses 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other
Classifications: HB144, 330.015193
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Robert Gibbons
Game theory for applied economists by Robert Gibbons( Book )

26 editions published between 1992 and 2015 in English and Japanese and held by 1,041 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book introduces one of the most powerful tools of modern economics to a wide audience: those who will later construct or consume game-theoretic models. Robert Gibbons addresses scholars in applied fields within economics who want a serious and thorough discussion of game theory but who may have found other works overly abstract. Gibbons emphasizes the economic applications of the theory at least as much as the pure theory itself formal arguments about abstract games play a minor role. The applications illustrate the process of model building--of translating an informal description of a multi-person decision situation into a formal game-theoretic problem to be analyzed. Also, the variety of applications shows that similar issues arise in different areas of economics, and that the same game-theoretic tools can be applied in each setting. In order to emphasize the broad potential scope of the theory, conventional applications from industrial organization have been largely replaced by applications from labor, macro, and other applied fields in economics
The handbook of organizational economics by Robert Gibbons( )

31 editions published between 2010 and 2016 in English and held by 833 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In even the most market-oriented economies, most economic transactions occur not in markets but inside managed organizations, particularly business firms. Organizational economics seeks to understand the nature and workings of such organizations and their impact on economic performance. This landmark book assembles the leading figures in organizational economics to present the first comprehensive view of both the current state of research in this fast-emerging field and where it might be headed. The Handbook of Organizational Economics surveys the major theories, evidence, and methods used in the field. It displays the breadth of topics in organizational economics, including the roles of individuals and groups in organizations, organizational structures and processes, the boundaries of the firm, contracts between and within firms, and more. The defining book on the subject, The Handbook of Organizational Economics is essential reading for researchers and students looking to understand this emerging field in economics. Presents the first comprehensive treatment of organizational economics Features contributions by leaders in the field Unifies and extends existing literatures Describes theoretical and empirical methods used today
A primer in game theory by Robert Gibbons( Book )

73 editions published between 1992 and 2013 in 5 languages and held by 672 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Game theory has revolutionized economics research and teaching during the past two decades. There are few undergraduate or graduate courses in which it does not form a core component. Game theory is the study of multi-decision problems and such problems occur frequently in economics. Industrial organization provides many examples where firms must consider the reactions of others. But there are many other areas in which it is applicable - from individual workers vying for promotion to countries competing or colluding to choose trade policies. Bob Gibbons provides an introduction to the branches of game theory that have been widely applied in economics. He emphasizes the applications as much as the pure theory. This not only helps to teach the theory, but also illustrates the process of model building - the process of translating an informal description of a multi-person decision situation into a formal, game theoretic problem to be analyzed. The approach aims to serve as both an introduction to those who will go on to specialize as pure game-theorists. It also introduces game theory to those who will later construct (or at least use) game-theoretic models in applied fields of economics
Incentives in organizations by Robert Gibbons( )

14 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 130 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this paper I summarize four new strands in agency theory that help me think about incentives in real organizations. As a point of departure, I being with a quick sketch of the classic agency model. I then discuss static models of objective performance measurement in which firms get what they pay for; repeated-game models of subjective performance assessments; incentives for skill development rather than simply for effort; and incentive contracts between versus within organizations. I conclude by suggesting two avenues for further progress in agency theory: better integration with organizational economics, as launched by Coase and reinvigorated by Williamson, and cross-pollination with other fields that study organizations, including industrial relations, organizational sociology, and social psychology
A theory of wage and promotion dynamics in internal labor markets by Robert Gibbons( )

14 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 128 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We attempt to explain employment practices in internal labor markets using models that combine job assignment, on-the-job human-capital acquisition, and learning. We show that a framework that integrates these familiar ideas captures a number of recent empirical findings concerning wage and promotion dynamics in internal labor markets, including the following. First, real wage decreases are a minority of the observations, but are not rare, while demotions are very rare. Second, there is significant serial correlation in wage increases. Third, promotions are associated with particularly large wage increases, but these wage increases are small relative to the difference between average wages across levels of a job ladder. Fourth, on average, workers who receive large wage increases early in their stay at one level of a job ladder are promoted more quickly to the next level. Fifth, individuals promoted from one level of a job ladder to the next come disproportionately, but not exclusively, from the top of the lower job's wage distribution (and arrive disproportionately, but not exclusively, at the bottom of the higher job's wage distribution)
Incentives and careers in organizations by Robert Gibbons( )

12 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper surveys two related pieces of the labor-economics literature: incentive pay and careers in organizations. In the discussion of incentives, I first summarize theory and evidence related to the classic agency model, which emphasizes the tradeoff between insurance and incentives. I then offer econometric and case-study evidence suggesting that this classic model ignores several crucial issues and sketch new models that begin to analyze these issues. In the discussion of careers in organizations, I begin by summarizing evidence on wages and positions using panel data within firms. This evidence is sparse and far-flung (drawn from industrial relations, organizational behavior, and sociology, as well as from labor economics); I identify ten basic questions that merit more systematic investigation. Turning to theory, I describe building-block models that address one or a few pieces of evidence, but focus on more recent models that address broad patterns of evidence
Implicit contracts and the theory of the firm by George P Baker( )

16 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 118 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We analyze the role of implicit contracts based on noncontractible performance measures in determining whether transactions will occur in firms, in "relational contracts" (implicit contracts in markets), or in spot markets. We derive four results: (1) implicit contracts (whether inside or outside firms) cannot exist if the spot market offers an inferior but sufficiently palatable alternative; (2) vertical integration is an efficient response to widely varying supply prices; (3) incentives are "higher-powered" in relational contracts than in firms; and (4) transfer pricing is part of the firm's performance-measurement and incentive system, not a device for allocating resources. Our model suggests why "management" (the development and implementation of unwritten rules and codes of conduct) is essential in organizations
Comparative advantage, learning, and sectoral wage determination by Robert Gibbons( )

18 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 117 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We develop a model in which a worker's skills determine the worker's current wage and sector. Both the market and the worker are initially uncertain about some of the worker's skills. Endogenous wage changes and sector mobility occur as labor-market participants learn about these unobserved skills. We show how the model can be estimated using non-linear instrumental-variables techniques. We then apply our methodology to study the wages and allocation of workers across occupations and across industries. For both occupations and industries, we find that high-wage sectors employ high-skill workers and offer high returns to workers' skills. Estimates of these sectoral wage differences that do not account for sector-specific returns are therefore misleading. We also suggest further applications of our theory and methodology
Enriching a theory of wage and promotion dynamics inside firms by Robert Gibbons( )

12 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 110 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In previous work we showed that a model that integrates job assignment, human-capital acquisition, and learning can explain several empirical findings concerning wage and promotion dynamics inside firms. In this paper we extend that model in two ways. First, we incorporate schooling into the model and derive a number of testable implications that we then compare with the available empirical evidence. Second, and more important, we show that introducing task-specific' human capital allows us to produce cohort effects (i.e., the finding that a cohort that enters a firm at a low wage will continue to earn below-average wages years later). We argue that task-specific human capital is a realistic concept and may have many important implications. We also discuss limitations of our (extended) approach
Learning and wage dynamics by Henry S Farber( )

15 editions published between 1991 and 1997 in English and held by 110 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We develop a dynamic model of learning and wage determination: education may convey initial information about ability, but subsequent performance observations also are informative. Although the role of schooling in the labor market's inference process declines as performance observations accumulate, the estimated effect of schooling on the level of wages is independent of labor-market experience. In addition: time-invariant variables correlated with ability but unobserved by employers are increasingly correlated with wages as experience increases; wage residuals are a martingale; and wage cuts -are not rare, even for workers who do not change jobs. We present evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that is generally consistent with all four of the model's predictions. We conclude that a blend of the learning model with an on-the-job-training model is more plausible than either model alone
Getting together and breaking apart : the decline of centralised collective bargaining by Richard B Freeman( )

12 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 107 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper studies the stability of centralized wage-setting systems in light of the on-going decentralization of labor relations in much of the Western world. It takes the decline of peak level bargaining in Sweden, the traditional archetype of centralized collective bargaining, as its key case for study, but is intended to speak to other cases as well. Like many earlier analysts, we argue that centralization offers potential economic gains by internalizing the costs of inefficient wage inflation. With this potential benefit, however, comes a cost: centralized decisions are not sufficiently responsive to local conditions. To avoid excessive inflexibility, the center can allow for "wage drift" at the local level (i.e., local wage settlements above the central agreement), but once the center allows wage drift, it becomes difficult to distinguish between justifiable drift due to local economic conditions and unjustifiable drift in the self-interest of local bargaining pairs. Thus, centralized wage-setting systems face a tradeoff: allowing less drift makes it easier to monitor local bargaining pairs but harder to achieve the appropriate responsiveness to local conditions. We develop a game-theoretic model of this tradeoff, and consider how the center's optimal policy moves towards decentralization (i.e., towards allowing more drift) as the cost of inflexibility rises. We then interpret the evolution of centralized bargaining in Sweden in light of the model. We argue that centralized bargaining flourished when the private-sector blue-collar workers (represented by LO) dominated the workforce, but began to wane as public-sector and white-collar unions grew in strength, as skill differentials in decentralized labor markets grew in size, and as product-market competition intensified (especially through the shortening of product lifecycles)
Subjective performance measures in optimal incentive contracts by George P Baker( )

14 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 106 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Objective measures of performance are seldom perfect. In response, incentive contracts often include important subjective components that mitigate incentive distortions caused by imperfect objective measures. This paper explores the combined use of subjective and objective performance measures in (respectively) implicit and explicit incentive contracts. Naturally, objective and subjective measures often are substitutes, sometimes strikingly so: we show that if objective measures are sufficiently close to perfect then no implicit contracts are feasible (because the firm's fallback position after reneging on an implicit contact is too attractive). We also show, however, that objective and subjective measures can reinforce each other: if objective measures become more accurate then in some circumstances the optimal contract puts more weight on subjective measures (because the improved objective measures increase the value of the ongoing relationship, and so reduce the firm's incentive to renege). We also analyze the use of subjective weights on objective performance measures, and provide case-study evidence consistent with our analyses
Layoffs and lemons by Robert Gibbons( )

16 editions published between 1989 and 1991 in English and held by 105 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this paper we provide theoretical and empirical analyses of an asymmetric-information model of layoffs in which the current employer is better informed about its workers' abilities than prospective employers are. The key feature of the model is that when firms have discretion with respect to whom to lay off, the market infers that laid-off workers are of low ability. Since no such negative inference should be attached o workers displaced in a plant closing, our model predicts that the postdisplacement wages of otherwise observationally equivalent workers will be higher for those displaced by plant closings than for those displaced by layoffs. An extension of our model predicts that the average postdisplacement unemployment spell of otherwise observationally equivalent workers will be shorter for those displaced by plant closings than for those displaced by layoffs. In our empirical work, we use data from the Displaced Workers Supplements in the January 1984 and 1986 Current Population Surveys. We find that the evidence (with respect to both re-employment wages and postdisplacement unemployment duration) is consistent with the idea that laid off workers are viewed less favorably by the market than are those losing jobs in plant closings. Our findings are much stronger for workers laid off from jobs where employers have discretion over whom to lay off
Relative performance evaluation for chief executive officers by Robert Gibbons( )

15 editions published between 1989 and 1991 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Measured individual performance often depends on random factors which also affect the performances of other workers in the same firm, industry, or market. In these cases, relative performance evaluation (RPE) can provide incentives while partially insulating workers from the common uncertainty. Basing pay on relative performance, however, generates incentives to sabotage the measured performance of co-workers, to collude with co-workers and shirk, and to apply for jobs with inept co-workers. RPE contracts also are less desirable when the output of co-workers is expensive to measure or in the presence of production externalities, as in the case of team production. The purpose of this paper is to review the benefits and costs of RPE and to test for the presence of RPE in one occupation where the benefits plausibly exceed the costs: chief executive officers (CEOs). In contrast to previous research, our empirical evidence strongly supports the RPE hypothesis-CEO pay revisions and retention probabilities are positively and significantly related to firm performance, but are negatively and significantly related to industry and market performance, ceteris paribus. Our results also suggest that CEO performance is more likely to be evaluated relative to aggregate market movements than relative to industry movements
Does executive compensation affect investment? by Robert Gibbons( )

18 editions published between 1991 and 1993 in English and Undetermined and held by 100 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Investment decisions require trading off current expenditures against future revenues. If revenues extend far enough into the future, the executives responsible for designing long-run investment policy may no longer be in office by the time all the revenues are realized. We present evidence that: (1) on average, executives are close to leaving office (relative to the payout period of many investments); (2) bonuses based on accounting earnings constitute an important part of compensation for the typical executive; and (3) executives respond in predictable ways to compensation plans based on accounting measures of earnings. Based on these facts, we hypothesize that existing compensation policy induces executives to reduce investments during their last years in office. In our empirical work, however, we find that investment expenditures on research and development and on advertising tend to be largest in the final years of a CEO's time in office. We offer several possible explanations for this surprising finding
Optimal incentive contracts in the presence of career concerns : theory and evidence by Robert Gibbons( )

17 editions published between 1990 and 1992 in English and held by 100 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper studies career concerns -- concerns about the effects of current performance on future compensation -- and describes how optimal incentive contracts are affected when career concerns are taken into account. Career concerns arise frequently: they occur whenever the market uses a worker's current output to update its belief about the worker's ability and competition then forces future wages (or wage contracts) to reflect these updated beliefs. Career concerns are stronger when a worker is further from retirement, because a longer prospective career increases the return to changing the market's belief. In the presence of career concerns, the optimal compensation contract optimizes total incentives -- the combination of the implicit incentives from career concerns and the explicit incentives from the compensation contract. Thus, the explicit incentives from the optimal compensation contract should be strongest when a worker is close to retirement. We find empirical support for this prediction in the relation between chief-executive compensation and stock-market performance
Learning in equilibrium models of arbitration by Robert Gibbons( )

12 editions published between 1988 and 1989 in English and held by 91 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper analyzes strategic communication in equilibrium models of conventional and final-offer interest arbitration. Both models emphasize the role of learning by the arbitrator from the parties offers about the state of the employment relationship, which is known to the parties but not to the arbitrator. In both models, the arbitrators equilibrium behavior is identical to the reduced-form decision rule typically assumed in the empirical literature. The paper thereby provides a structural interpretation for the existing empirical work. The paper also represents progress towards a complete theory of arbitration because it satisfies three conditions that will be required of any such theory. First, the models predictions match the existing empirical evidence. Second, the models describe equilibrium behavior. And third, the models are built on a common set of assumptions about preferences, information, and commitment. The paper therefore not only provides an equilibrium foundation for the intuition that the arbitrator might learn from the parties offers, but also uses the idea of learning to develop a unified analytical treatment of the two major forms of interest arbitration
An introduction to applicable game theory by Robert Gibbons( )

7 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 86 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper offers an introduction to game theory for applied economists. I try to give simple definitions and intuitive examples of the basic kinds of games and their solution concepts. There are four kinds of games: static or dynamic, and complete or incomplete information. ( Complete information means there is no private information.) The corresponding solution concepts are: Nash equilibrium in static games of complete information; backwards induction (or subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium) in dynamic games of complete information; Bayesian Nash equilibrium in static games with incomplete information; and perfect Bayesian (or sequential) equilibrium in dynamic games with incomplete information. The main theme of the paper is that these solution concepts are closely linked. As we consider progressively richer games, we progressively strengthen the solution concept, to rule out implausible equilibria in the richer games that would survive if we applied solution concepts available for simpler games. In each case, the stronger solution concept differs from the weaker concept only for the richer games, not for the simpler games
Rational-expectations equilibrium in intermediate good markets by Robert Gibbons( )

7 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 78 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We analyze a rational-expectations model of information acquisition and price formation in an intermediate- good market: prices and net supply are non-negative, there are no noise traders, and the intermediate good has multiple potential uses. Several of our results differ from the classic Grossman-Stiglitz approach. For example, the price mechanism is more informative at high and low prices and potentially uninformative at middle prices. Also, an informed trade by a producer of one final good amounts to a noise trade from the perspective of a producer of another final good, so (a) as the price mechanism becomes more informative for producers of one final good, it becomes less informative for producers of others, who therefore have a stronger incentive to acquire information, so information acquisition has the strategic-complements property between groups, and (b) having more producers (in multiple groups) become informed need not increase the informativeness of the price mechanism
Does unmeasured ability explain inter-industry wage differences? by Robert Gibbons( Book )

15 editions published in 1989 in English and Undetermined and held by 56 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper provides empirical assessments of the two leading explanations of measured inter-industry wage differentials: (1) true wage differentials exist across industries, and (2) the measured differentials simply reflect unmeasured differences in workers' productive abilities. First, we summarize the existing evidence on the unmeasured-ability explanation, which is based on first-differenced regressions using matched Current Population Survey (CPS) data. We argue that these existing approaches implicitly hypothesize that unmeasured productive ability is equally rewarded in all industries. Second, we construct a simple model in which unmeasured ability in not equally valued in all industries; instead, there is matching. This model illustrates two endogeneity problems inherent in the first-differenced regressions using CPS data: whether a worker changes jobs in endogenous, as is the industry of the new job the worker finds. Third, we propose two new empirical approaches designed to minimize these endogeneity problems. We implement these procedures on a sample that allows us to approximate the experiment of exogenous job loss: a sample of workers displaced by plant closings. We conclude from our findings using this sample that neither of the contending explanations fits the evidence without recourse to awkward modifications, but that a modified version of the true-industry-effects explanation fits more easily than does any existing version of the unmeasured-ability explanation
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Game theory for applied economists
A primer in game theory
Alternative Names
Gibbons , Robert <1958- >

Gibbons, Robert S. 1958-

Gibonzu, Robāto 1958-

Robert Gibbons economist

Robert Gibbons econoom

Robert Gibbons Wirtschaftswissenschaftler

ギボンズ, R.

ギボンズ, ロバート

ギボンズ, ロバート 1958-

English (332)

Spanish (12)

Italian (10)

Japanese (5)

Chinese (1)