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Publicado en: Tesis

En Busca de los Incentivos Perdidos: La Estructura de Búsqueda del Consumidor como Determinante de la Efectividad de los Incentivos Internos y Externos a la Firma

Úrsula Schwarzhaupt.

Tesis, Magíster en Economía, IE-PUC, 2008.

This work presents a search model in which the consumer seeks for a firm that offers him a satisfactory level of service. The quality of the service is determined by the effort performed by a salesperson, whose job is to assist the consumer in the buying process, advising him to purchase the product that best fits his preferences. We observe that the search structure, characterized by the cost of evaluating each firm, and the possibility of consuming an outside option, can have an effect on the sale’s sensitivity to service quality. A low sensitivity to service quality is detrimental for using sales to signal the salesperson’s effort, which impairs the firm’s ability of giving incentives to its salespeople as a mean of controlling their effort. In this way, an opportunity appears for the consumer to reward the salespeople, giving rise to external incentives. We prove that in the case of high sale’s sensitivity to service quality, both internal and external incentives are effective in promoting good service. evertheless, internal incentives are superior, since the first firm introducing them can earn rents, which speeds up its adoption by the industry. In contrast, the consumers must adopt external incentives as a group, which requires coordination and also give rise to problems of free-riding. In the opposite case of low sensitivity to quality, we demonstrate that only external incentives are effective in motivating a high level of effort in the sales force.


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