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The value of information in a principal–agent model with moral hazard: The ex post contracting case

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  • Silvers, Randy
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    Abstract

    In a principal–agent model with moral hazard, a signal about the principalʼs technology — the stochastic mapping from the agentʼs action to the outcome — is observed before the contract is offered. The signal is either uninformative (null information), informative and observed only by the principal (private information), or also observed by the agent (public information). We show that, from an ex ante standpoint (before the signal is observed): (i) the agent prefers private to both null and public information; (ii) the principal sometimes prefers null to both private and public information; and (iii) when the principal prefers public to null information, she prefers public to private information, whereas the agent prefers private to public information. In this last situation, we also show that (iv) for any separating equilibrium with private information, there exists a contract with public information that both strictly prefer.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

    Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 352-365

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:1:p:352-365

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

    Related research

    Keywords: Moral hazard; Principal–agent; Informed principal; Information; Technology; Ex post contracting;

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    1. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
    2. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
    3. Ed Nosal, 2006. "Information Gathering By A Principal," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1093-1111, November.
    4. Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Information Control in the Principal-Agent Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 259-69, May.
    5. Hector Chade & Randolph Silvers, . "Informed Principal, Moral Hazard, and the Value of a More Informative Technology," Working Papers 2133302, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
    6. Inderst, Roman, 1998. "Incentives Schemes as a Signaling Device," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-36, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    7. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
    8. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    9. Beaudry, Paul, 1994. "Why an Informed Principal May Leave Rents to an Agent," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 821-32, November.
    10. Gjesdal, Froystein, 1982. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 373-90, July.
    11. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
    12. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
    13. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Endogenous Punishments In Agency With Verifiable Ex Post Information ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1207-1231, November.
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