Contracts for Agents with Biased Beliefs: Some Theory and an Experiment
AbstractThis paper experimentally tests the predictions of a principal-agent model in which the agent has biased beliefs about his ability. Overconfi dent workers are found to earn lower wages than underconfi dent ones because they overestimate their expected payoff , and principals adjust their off ers accordingly. Moreover, the profi t-maximizing contract distorts e ffort by varying incentives according to self-con fidence, although only the most successful principals use this strategy. These fi ndings have implications for the labor market; in particular, self-con fidence is often correlated with gender, implying that principals would prefer to hire men over women simply because they are more overconfi dent.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Other versions of this item:
- Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Contracts for Agents with Biased Beliefs: Some Theory and an Experiment," Working Papers 2011-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
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