Incentives for Experimenting Agents
AbstractWe examine a repeated interaction between an agent, who undertakes experiments, and a principal who provides the requisite funding for these experiments. The agent’s actions are hidden, and the principal cannot commit to future actions. The repeated interaction gives rise to a dynamic agency cost -- the more lucrative is the agent’s stream of future rents following a failure, the more costly are current incentives for the agent. As a result, the principal may deliberately delay experimental funding, reducing the continuation value of the project and hence the agent’s current incentive costs. We characterize the set of recursive Markov equilibria. We also find that there are non-Markov equilibria that make the principal better off than the recursive Markov equilibrium, and that may make both agents better off. Efficient equilibria front-load the agent’s effort, inducing as much experimentation as possible over an initial period, until making a switch to the worst possible continuation equilibrium. The initial phase concentrates the agent’s effort near the beginning of the project, where it is most valuable, while the eventual switch to the worst continuation equilibrium attenuates the dynamic agency cost.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1726R.
Length: 141 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2012
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Simon, Leo K. & Stinchcombe, Maxwell B., 1987.
"Extensive From Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt03x115sh, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Simon, Leo K & Stinchcombe, Maxwell B, 1989. "Extensive Form Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1171-1214, September.
- Leo K. Simon and Maxwell B. Stinchcombe., 1987. "Extensive Form Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Economics Working Papers 8746, University of California at Berkeley.
- Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2009.
"Venture Capital and Sequential Investments,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
814577000000000046, David K. Levine.
- Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Nov 2008.
- Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2009.
- Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682RR, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2009.
- Asher Blass & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Financing R&D in mature companies: An empirical analysis," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(5), pages 425-447.
- Bergin, James & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Continuous Time Repeated Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 21-37, February.
- Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006.
"Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
- Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M, 2004. "Dynamic Mechanism Design with Hidden Income and Hidden Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Matthias Doepke & Robert M. Townsend, 2002. "Dynamic Mechanism Design With Hidden Income and Hidden Actions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 818, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Peeters, Carine & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno van, 2003.
"Measuring Innovation Competencies and Performances: A Survey of Large Firms in Belgium,"
IIR Working Paper
03-16, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
- Carine Peeters & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2003. "Measuring innovation competencies and performances: a survey of large firms in Belgium," Working Papers CEB 04-005.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Perry Motty & Reny Philip J., 1993. "A Non-cooperative Bargaining Model with Strategically Timed Offers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 50-77, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.