Labour Economics

Group logo of Labour Economics


The main goal of this line of research is to analyse the effects of cultural intergenerational transmission of preferences and social norms on several features of the performance of economic organizations, markets and institutions. In particular, in important issues such as the design of incentives (or design of contracts) and labour relations. We work with a dynamic analysis in which both the population distribution of preferences, agent’s economic decisions are simultaneously and endogenously determined.

The application of this line of research to the agency theory (incentives) and the economics of organizations will improve our analytical ability to discuss the proposals on the reform of economic organizations (corporate culture) and the welfare state. Our research combine the theoretical work with empirical analysis with data obtained through laboratory experiments.

We breakdown this general objective in the following sub-lines:

Incentives and transmission of social norms in the organizations and markets. We use a dynamic analysis in which the preference distribution or social norms, institutions and equilibrium behaviour is determined simultaneous and endogenously. We study how different policies of social protection in the welfare state can analyzed in a dynamic context in which parents and the educational system can transmit, with a cost, work norms regarding to effort and hard work when firm face a moral hazard problem with their workers.

Preferences for identity and incentives. In this sub-line we analyze the firms’ incentives to invest in “the loyalty and identification with the firm”, (it is called motivational capital), in overlapping generation models of workers (juniors and seniors). We study how this policy affects the incentives to different generations of workers.

The role of social preferences in the contract design and organizations. We use a static approach to analyze the effects of the presence of agents with social preferences in the design of incentives (agency relationship) and in the performance of economic organizations.