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Portfolio Performance and Agency

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  • Philip H. Dybvig
  • Heber K. Farnsworth
  • Jennifer N. Carpenter

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the optimal contract for a portfolio manager who can exert effort to improve the quality of a private signal about future market prices. We assume complete markets over states distinguished by asset payoffs and place no restrictions on the form of the contract. We show that trading restrictions are essential because they prevent the manager from undoing the incentive effects of performance-based fees. We provide conditions under which simple benchmarking emerges as optimal compensation. Additional incentives to take risk are necessary when information can be manipulated or else the manager will understate information to offset the benchmarking. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-23

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:1:p:1-23

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  1. 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.
  2. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1997. "Does It All Add Up? Benchmarks and the Compensation of Active Portfolio Managers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(3), pages 323-50, July.
  5. Jaeyoung Sung, 1995. "Linearity with Project Selection and Controllable Diffusion Rate in Continuous-Time Principal-Agent Problems," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 720-743, Winter.
  6. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-67, November.
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