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Delegation and information revelation

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Author Info

  • Gautier, Axel

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Paolini, Dimitri

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of delegation in an organization where there is an initial asymmetry of information between the principal and the agent. We assume that the principal cannot use revelation techniques à la Baron Myerson to elicit agent's superior information and in contrast, we posit that the decision and the state of the world parameter cannot be contracted for. With these simple contracts, we show that delegation is an alternative to contracting to elicit agent's information. We can show that delegated decisions completely reveal the state of the world to the principal. Therefore the principal can extract agent's information by giving up the control right over some decisions. As the organization takes a sequence of decisions, the information learned by the principal can be used for the other decisions. So delegation is only partial: the principal delegates some decisions and keeps control over other.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2000015.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2000015

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Keywords: Asymmetric information; Delegation; Incomplete contracts;

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References

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  1. Legros Patrick, 1993. "Information Revelation in Repeated Delegation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 98-117, January.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Freixas, Xavier & Guesnerie, Roger & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-91, April.
  5. Armstrong, Mark, 1995. "Delegation and discretion," MPRA Paper 17069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  7. Melumad, Nahum & Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "A theory of responsibility centers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 445-484, December.
  8. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  9. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1998. "Capital budgeting and delegation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 259-289, December.
  11. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  12. John G. Riley, 1976. "Informational Equilibrium," UCLA Economics Working Papers 071, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  14. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  15. Martimort, David, 1997. " A Theory of Bureaucratization Based on Reciprocity and Collusive Behavior," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 555-79, December.
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Cited by:
  1. A. Gautier & D. Paolini, 2007. "Delegation, Externalities and Organizational Design," Working Paper CRENoS 200710, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  2. Krahmer, Daniel, 2006. "Message-contingent delegation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 490-506, August.

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