Delegation and Information Revelation
AbstractThis paper addresses the question of delegation in a principal-agent setting with asymmetric information. If the person who has the power to act, the principal, doesn't have the necessary information to make the best possible decision, she can address herself to someone, the agent, who has this information. Such delegation of authority has its drawbacks given that the agent may not implement the principal's ideal decision. Delegation is costly for the principal. This cost is called the loss of control. But delegation has also its benefits. We show that delegation is useful to reduce the initial asymmetry of information between the principal and the agent. The benefits of delegation are linked to the information transmitted by the agent to the principal. To show this, we model an organization composed of one principal and one agent. The organization should take a sequence of decisions that are affected by a common environemental parameter. We assume that there is an initial asymmetry of information between the principal and the subordinate agent: the agent knows the state of the world while the principal has only some prior about its distribution. Moreover, we assume that the principal cannot use revelation techniques la Baron Myerson to elicit agent's superior information. In contrast, we adopt an incomplete contract framework and posit that the decision and the state of the world parameter cannot be contracted for. Therefore, the remaining contracting variable is the allocation of decision rights. With these simple contracts, we study how the agent's decision can signal his information to the principal. When the agent is in charge of a decision, his decision signals his information to the principal. The trade off between information transmitted through decisions under delegation and the associated loss of control is the heart of our analysis.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1292.
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Other versions of this item:
- Axel Gautier & Dimitri Paolini, 2007. "Delegation and Information Revelation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(4), pages 574-597, December.
- Gautier, Axel & Paolini, Dimitri, 2000. "Delegation and information revelation," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000015, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
- GAUTIER, Axel & PAOLINI, Dimitri, . "Delegation and information revelation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2018, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Axel Gautier & Dimitri Paolini, 2002. "Delegation and Information Revelation," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse18_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
- M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting - - - Accounting
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