Optimal Compensation Structure in Consumer Cooperatives under Mixed Oligopoly

Michael Kopel, Marco A. Marini


The main aim of this paper is to derive properties of an optimal compensation scheme for consumer cooperatives (Coops) in situations of strategic interaction with profit-maximizing firms (PMFs). Our model provides a reason why Coops are less prone than PMFs to pay variable bonuses to their managers. We show that this occurs under price competition when in equilibrium the Coop prefers to pay a straight salary to its manager whereas the profit-maximizing rival adopts a variable, high-powered incentive scheme. The main rationale is that, due to consumers’ preferences, a Coop is per se highly expansionary in term of output and, therefore, does not need to provide strong strategic incentives to their managers to expand output aggressively by undercutting its rival.


Consumer Cooperatives; Strategic Incentives; Price Competition; Oligopoly

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