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Screening Ethics when Honest Agents Keep their Word

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Author Info

  • Ingela Alger

    ()

  • Régis Renault

    ()

Abstract

We study the implications of honesty when it requires pre-commitment. Within a two-period hidden information problem, an agent learns his match with the assigned task in period 2 and, if honest, reveals it to the principal if he has committed to it. The principal may offer a menu of contracts to screen ethics. Both honest and dishonest agents are willing to misrepresent their ethics. The principal and dishonest agents benefit from an increased likelihood of honesty as long as honesty is likely enough. Honest agents always profit from ethics uncertainty if a good match is likely. This is also true if dishonesty is likely enough, in which case an honest receives the same surplus as a dishonest.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-005-0057-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 30 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 291-311

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:30:y:2007:i:2:p:291-311

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Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00199/index.htm

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Related research

Keywords: Ethics; Honesty; Loyalty; Adverse selection; Screening; D82;

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References

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  1. Alger, Ingela & Albert Ma, Ching-to, 2003. "Moral hazard, insurance, and some collusion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 225-247, February.
  2. Deneckere,R. & Severinov,S., 2001. "Mechanism design and communication costs," Working papers 23, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. F. Forges & Frederic Koessler, 2003. "Communication Equilibria with Partially Verifiable Types," THEMA Working Papers 2003-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  4. Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September.
  5. Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Auditing claims in the insurance market with fraud: The credibility issue," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 27-56, December.
  6. Ingela Alger & Regis Renault, 2000. "Screening Ethics when Honest Agents Care about Fairness," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 489, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Nov 2004.
  7. Jaffee, Dwight M & Russell, Thomas, 1976. "Imperfect Information, Uncertainty, and Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 651-66, November.
  8. Green, Jerry R & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1986. "Partially Verifiable Information and Mechanism Design," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 447-56, July.
  9. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1996. "On the optimality of allowing collusion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 383-407, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ching-to Albert MA & Ingela Alger & Regis Renault, 2012. "Experience Benefits and Firm Organization," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Saran, Rene, 2011. "Bilateral trading with naive traders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 544-557, June.
  3. Conley, John P. & Neilson, William, 2009. "Endogenous games and equilibrium adoption of social norms and ethical constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 761-774, July.
  4. Fali Huang & Peter Cappelli, 2006. "Employee Screening : Theory and Evidence," Labor Economics Working Papers 22443, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Stefano Demichelis & Jörgen W. Weibull, 2007. "Language, meaning and games: a model of communication, coordination and evolution," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 61, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Ingela Alger & Régis Renault, 2006. "Screening Ethics When Honest Agents Care About Fairness ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 59-85, 02.
  7. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2007. "Enjoy the Silence: An Experiment on Truth-Telling," ESE Discussion Papers 155, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  8. Liu, Ting, 2006. "Credence Goods Markets with Conscientious and Selfish Experts," MPRA Paper 1107, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Sep 0007.
  9. Demichelis, Stefano & Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Efficiency, communication and honesty," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 645, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2006.
  10. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2006. "Optimal Selling Strategies When Buyers May Have Hard Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 5747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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