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Harmful monitoring


Author Info

  • Haan, Marco A.
  • Los, Bart
  • Riyanto, Yohanes E.

    (Groningen University)


Abstract We show that there may be circumstances in which a principal prefers not to observe the project choice of an agent that acts on her behalf. The ability of the agent is private information. Projects differ with respect to the amount of risk. If the principal can observe the project choice of the agent, the latter will use that choice as a signal. In the separating equilibrium, an agent with high ability then chooses a project that is too risky. If more difficult projects require more effort, there are two opposite effects. The shirking effect implies that the agent chooses a project that is too safe. The signaling effect implies that he chooses a project that is too risky. The net effect is ambiguous. We also discuss the implications of our model for promotion policies.

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Paper provided by University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management) in its series Research Report with number 07003.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugsom:07003

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  1. Prat, Andrea, 2003. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  3. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 1 :comparing information structures," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9617, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Haan & Bart Los & Yohanes Riyanto, 2011. "Signaling strength? An analysis of decision making in The Weakest Link," Theory and Decision, Springer, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 519-537, October.


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