AbstractThis paper considers a simple moral hazard setting in which a project owner (or, more generally, a principal) hires a contractor (or, more generally, an agent) to operate her project. We show that a systematic increase in the agent's operating costs can increase either the principal's profit or the agent's profit. The combined profit of the two parties also can increase. Perhaps most surprisingly, the principal's profit and the agent's profit can both increase simultaneously as the agent's costs rise. In this sense, increased inefficiency can be Pareto-improving under plausible conditions. Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press 2010 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.
Volume (Year): 63 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
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Other versions of this item:
- Debashis Pal & Arup Bose & David Sappington, 2008. "Pareto Improving Inefficiency," University of Cincinnati, Economics Working Papers Series 2008-04, University of Cincinnati, Department of Economics.
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- Debashis Pal & David Sappington & Ying Tang, 2012. "Sabotaging cost containment," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 293-314, June.
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