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Trading between agents for a better match

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  • Lee, Frances (Zhiyun Xu)
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    Abstract

    This paper studies externalities that arise when agents can trade outcomes ex post. I show that when agents can trade outcomes ex post, principals are incentivized to contract with agents ex ante to reduce ex post transfers to outside agents with whom the principals do not directly contract. This causes principals to offer agents piece-rates that are inefficiently low and lower than the piece-rates they would offer if trading was not allowed. Although trading reduces an agent's effort and could increase the agent's outside option of rejecting a principal's ex ante contract, principals ultimately gain from allowing ex post trading because such trading results in outcomes that better match their tastes.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 31 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 501-515

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:31:y:2013:i:5:p:501-515

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Search agent; Multiple principals multiple agents; Externality; Moral hazard;

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    References

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    1. Claudio Mezzetti, 1997. "Common Agency with Horizontally Differentiated Principals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 323-345, Summer.
    2. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
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    8. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
    9. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1985. "Common Marketing Agency as a Device for Facilitating Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 269-281, Summer.
    10. Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
    11. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 445-64, July.
    12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    13. Mark V. Pauly, 1979. "The Ethics and Economics of Kickbacks and Fee Splitting," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 344-352, Spring.
    14. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2000. "Exclusive Contracts and Protection of Investments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 603-633, Winter.
    15. Dixit, Avinash, 1997. "Power of Incentives in Private versus Public Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 378-82, May.
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