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Why an Informed Principal May Leave Rents to an Agent

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  • Beaudry, Paul

Abstract

This paper characterizes incentive contracts for the situation where a principal is privately informed about the technology governing an agency relationship. In contrast to a standard principal-agent relationship, it is shown that a principal who values effort highly will choose to induce effort by paying a high base wage and low bonus payments. Moreover, the equilibrium contract has the principal transferring rents to the agent even though contracting possibilities are unrestricted and both principal and agent are risk neutral. Consequently, the informed-principal framework is shown to provide a rational for the payment of efficiency wages. Copyright 1994 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 35 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 821-32

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:35:y:1994:i:4:p:821-32

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Cited by:
  1. Martimort, David & Poudou, Jean-Christophe & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2009. "Contracting for an Innovation under Bilateral Asymmetric Information," IDEI Working Papers 448, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Thomas Troeger & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2010. "Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Privacy of Information," 2010 Meeting Papers 1039, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Fuchs, William, 2013. "Subjective Evaluations: Discretionary Bonuses and Feedback Credibility," IZA Discussion Papers 7758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Feess,Eberhard & Schieble,Michael & Markus,Walzl, 2004. "When should principals acquire verifiable information?," Research Memorandum 049, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Mylovanov, Tymofiy & Tröger, Thomas, 2013. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal: The Quasi-Linear Private-Values Case," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 437, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Vahey, Shaun P., 2004. "Signalling ability to pay and rent sharing dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2327-2339, October.
  7. Rolf Tisljar, 2002. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal - Pure-Strategy Equilibria for a Common Value Model," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Silvers, Randy, 2012. "The value of information in a principal–agent model with moral hazard: The ex post contracting case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 352-365.
  9. Thomas Tröger & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2008. "Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Private Information," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. Feess, Eberhard & Walzl, Markus, 2006. "Why it Pays to Conceal - On the Optimal Timing of Acquiring Verifiable Information," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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