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Moral Hazard and Clear Conscience

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  • Topi Miettinen

Abstract

The paper studies theoretically how the optimal contract in the hidden-action moral-hazard model is affected when an agent feels bad when not reaching a target effort set in the contract. In equilibrium, the agent's effort falls short of the target, inducing guilt, which must be compensated by a higher financial reward. Thus, although the principal's payoff is higher, the agent receives a part of the monetary rents accruing to intrinsic motivation. This result differs markedly from previous contributions on contracting under social preference or pro-social motivation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 167 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 224-235

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201106)167:2_224:mhacc_2.0.tx_2-c

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  2. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  5. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
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  7. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
  8. Miettinen, Topi, 2013. "Promises and conventions – An approach to pre-play agreements," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 68-84.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  10. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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  12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
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