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Too few cooks spoil the broth

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  • Marisa Ratto
  • Wendelin Schnedler

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Abstract

We consider a principal-agent relationship in which two tasks need to be carried out. Each task involves a decision. The principal can neither contract on the two decisions nor on the benefit which she receives from them but only on a signal, which simultaneously reflects both. We show that the efficient choice cannot be achieved if the principal employs a single agent. If, however, the principal employs a second agent, she can set a payment scheme such that the efficient choice can be implemented. We also examine when this implementation is vulnerable to collusion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 03/090.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/090

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Keywords: hidden action; moral hazard; optimal contract; job design; asymmetric information;

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  1. Susan Athey & John Roberts, 2001. "Organizational Design: Decision Rights and Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 200-205, May.
  2. Strausz, Roland, 1997. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 337-57, July.
  3. Olsen, Trond E & Torsvik, Gaute, 1998. "Collusion and Renegotiation in Hierarchies: A Case of Beneficial Corruption," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 413-38, May.
  4. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-56, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Grout, Paul & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2008. "Non-Profit Organizations in a Bureaucratic Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 3685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kragl, Jenny & Schöttner, Anja, 2011. "Wage Floors and Optimal Job Design," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48731, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Felipe Balmaceda, 2012. "On the Optimality of One-size-fits-all Contracts: The Limited Liability Case," Documentos de Trabajo 291, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  4. Jenny Kragl & Anja Schöttner, 2012. "Wage Floors, Imperfect Performance Measures, and Optimal Job Design," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-36, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  5. Christian Espinosa & Juan Gorigoitía & Carlos Maquieira, 2012. "Nonlinear behaviour of EMBI index:the case of eastern European countries," Working Papers 37, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.

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