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Optimal incentives under moral hazard and heterogeneous agents: Evidence from production contracts data

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  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Vukina, Tomislav

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to develop an analytical framework for the estimation of parameters of a structural model of an incentive contract under moral hazard, taking into account agents heterogeneity. We show that allowing the principal to strategically distribute the production inputs across heterogenous agents as part of the contract design, the principal is able to change what appears to be a uniform contract into individualized contracts tailored to fit agents' preferences or characteristics. Using micro level data on swine production contract settlements, we find that contracting farmers are heterogenous with respect to their risk aversion or the costs of effort and that this heterogeneity affects the principal's allocation of production inputs across farmers. Relying on the identifying assumption that contracts are optimal, we obtain the estimates of a lower and an upper bound of agents' reservation utilities. We show that farmers with higher risk aversion have lower outside opportunities and hence lower reservation utilities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 489-500

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:489-500

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Agency contracts Optimal incentives Moral hazard Risk aversion Heterogeneity;

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References

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  1. Jaap H. Abbring & James J. Heckman & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jean Pinquet, 2003. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard In Insurance: Can Dynamic Data Help to Distinguish?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 512-521, 04/05.
  2. Jaap H. Abbring & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jean Pinquet, 2003. "Moral Hazard and Dynamic Insurance Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 767-820, 06.
  3. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  4. Martin, Laura L., 1997. "Production Contracts, Risk Shifting, And Relative Performance Payments In The Pork Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), December.
  5. Dubois, Pierre, 2002. "Moral hazard, land fertility and sharecropping in a rural area of the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 35-64, June.
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  9. Pierre Dubois & Tomislav Vukina, 2004. "Grower Risk Aversion and the Cost of Moral Hazard in Livestock Production Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 835-841.
  10. Paarsch, Harry J & Shearer, Bruce, 2000. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 59-92, February.
  11. Ferrall, Christopher & Shearer, Bruce, 1999. "Incentives and Transactions Costs within the Firm: Estimating an Agency Model Using Payroll Records," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 309-38, April.
  12. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2007. "Do women react differently to incentives? Evidence from experimental data and payroll records," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1682-1707, October.
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  14. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2004. "Male-Female Productivity Differentials: the Role of Ability and Incentives," Cahiers de recherche 0401, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  15. Porametr Leegomonchai & Tomislav Vukina, 2005. "Dynamic Incentives and Agent Discrimination in Broiler Production Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 849-877, December.
  16. Joost M. E. Pennings, 2004. "Channel Contract Behavior: The Role of Risk Attitudes, Risk Perceptions, And Channel Members' Market Structures," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 697-724, October.
  17. Allen, Douglas & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash Rent versus Cropshare," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 397-426, October.
  18. Armando Levy & Tomislav Vukina, 2002. "Optimal linear contracts with heterogeneous agents," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 205-217, June.
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  20. Chiappori, P.A. & Durand, F. & Geoffard, P.Y., 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Demand for Physician Services: First Lessons from a French Natural Experiment," DELTA Working Papers 98-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  21. Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 23, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Niemi, Jarkko K. & Liu, Xing & Pietola, Kyosti, 2011. "Price volatility and return on pig fattening under different price- quantity contract regimes," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114614, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Niemi, Jarkko K., 2012. "Designing coordination contracts to support efficient flow-scheduling in pork chain," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125208, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. George-Levi Gayle & Limor Golan & Robert A. Miller, 2009. "Promotion, Turnover and Compensation in the Executive Market," 2009 Meeting Papers 118, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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