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The Positive Effects of Biased Self-Perceptions in Firms

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  • Simon Gervais
  • Itay Goldstein

Abstract

We study a firm in which the marginal productivity of agents' effort increases with the effort of others. We show that the presence of an agent who overestimates his marginal productivity may make all agents better off, including the biased agent himself. This Pareto improvement is obtained even when compensation contracts are set endogenously to maximize firm value. We show that the presence of a leader improves coordination, but self-perception biases can never be Pareto-improving when they affect the leader. Self-perception biases are also shown to affect job assignments within firms and the likelihood and value of mergers. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Finance Association in its journal Review of Finance.

Volume (Year): 11 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 453-496

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Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:11:y:2007:i:3:p:453-496

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Cited by:
  1. Edmans, Alex & Goldstein, Itay & Zhu, John, 2013. "Contracting With Synergies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jean-Louis Rullière & Luis Santos Pinto & Isabelle Vialle, 2011. "Self-Confidence and Teamwork : An Experimental Test," Post-Print halshs-00632091, HAL.
  3. Leonidas Enrique De La Rosa, 2008. "Overconfidence in a Career-Concerns Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 2405, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Ben-David, Itzhak & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2010. "Managerial Miscalibration," Working Paper Series 2010-12, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  5. Andrew Newman & Philip Bond, 2004. "Prohibitions on Punishments in Private Contracts," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 143, Econometric Society.
  6. Schrand, Catherine M. & Zechman, Sarah L.C., 2012. "Executive overconfidence and the slippery slope to financial misreporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 311-329.
  7. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2006. "Hidden Talents: Partnerships with Pareto-Improving Private Information," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0613, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Puri, Manju & Robinson, David T., 2007. "Optimism and economic choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 71-99, October.
  9. Sergei Izmalkov & Muhamet Yildiz, 2010. "Investor Sentiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-38, February.
  10. Thoma, Carmen, 2013. "Is Underconfidence Favored over Overconfidence? An Experiment on the Perception of a Biased Self-Assessment," Discussion Papers in Economics 17460, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Vanessa Mertins & Wolfgang Hoffeld, 2013. "Do Overconfident Workers Cooperate Less? The Relationship between Overconfidence and Cooperation in Team Production," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201313, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  12. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Beliefs about overconfidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(4), pages 475-500, April.

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