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Risk Taking and Optimal Contracts for Money Managers

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  • Palomino, Frederic
  • Prat, Andrea

Abstract

We study delegated portfolio management when the agent controls the riskiness of the portfolio. Under general conditions, we show that the optimal contract is simply a bonus contract: the agent is paid a fixed sum if the portfolio return is above a threshold. We derive a criterion to decide whether the optimal contract induces excessive or insufficient risk. If a deviation from efficient risk taking causes a large (small) reduction in the expected return of the portfolio, the optimal contract induces excessive (insufficient) risk. In other words, the cheaper it is to play with risk, the less risk the agent takes. Copyright 2003 by the RAND Corporation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 113-37

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:34:y:2003:i:1:p:113-37

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  1. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 1998. "High Water Marks," NBER Working Papers 6413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1985. "Delegated portfolio management," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, June.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom & I. Ricard & Joan Costa, 1984. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 729, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  10. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
  11. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, 1989. "Adverse Risk Incentives and the Design of Performance-Based Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(7), pages 807-822, July.
  12. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 1998. "On the Regulation of Fee Structures in Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 6639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Christian Gollier & Pierre-François Koehl & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1996. "Risk-Taking Behavior with Limited Liability and Risk Aversion," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  14. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, . "Adverse Risk Incentives and the Design of Performance-Based Contracts," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  16. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  17. Peter Diamond, 1998. "Managerial Incentives: On the Near Linearity of Optimal Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 931-957, October.
  18. Susan I. Cohen & Laura T. Starks, 1988. "Estimation Risk and Incentive Contracts for Portfolio Managers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(9), pages 1067-1079, September.
  19. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
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