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Asymmetric Awareness and Moral Hazard

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  • Sarah Auster
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    Abstract

    This paper introduces asymmetric awareness into the classical principal-agent model and discusses the optimal contract between a fully aware principal and an unaware agent. The principal enlarges the agent’s awareness strategically when proposing the contract. He faces a trade off between participation and incentives. Leaving the agent unaware allows him to exploit the agent’s incomplete understanding of the world. Making the agent aware enables the principal to use the revealed contingencies as signals about the agent’s action choice. The optimal contract reveals contingencies that have low probability but are highly informative about the agent’s effort.

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    File URL: http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/19355/ECO_2011_31.pdf?sequence=1
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2011/.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/31

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    Related research

    Keywords: Unawareness; Moral Hazard; Incomplete Contracts.;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    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.:
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    1. Nabil I. Al-Najjar & Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2003. "Undescribable Events," CESifo Working Paper Series 1092, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
    3. Salvatore Modica & J.-Marc Tallon & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Unawareness and bankruptcy: A general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 259-292.
    4. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    5. HEIFETZ, Aviad & MEIER, Martin & SCHIPPER, Burkhard C., 2004. "Interactive unawareness," CORE Discussion Papers 2004059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Aviad Heifetz & Martin Meier & Burkhard Schipper, 2011. "Unawareness, Beliefs, and Speculative Trade," Working Papers 118, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    7. Oliver Board, 2008. "Object-Based Unawareness: Theory and Applications," Working Papers 378, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
    8. repec:bla:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:4:p:849-868 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    10. Sanford J Grossman & Oliver D Hart, 2001. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000339, David K. Levine.
    11. Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2003. "Positive self-image and incentives in organizations," MPRA Paper 3141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Feb 2007.
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