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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/1814/24274/ECO_2012_23.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2012/23.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2012/23

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    Related research

    Keywords: Unawareness; Moral Hazard; Incomplete Contracts;

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    References

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    1. Kim-Sau Chung & Oliver Board, 2007. "Object-Based Unawareness," Working Papers 2007-2, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, revised 24 Aug 2007.
    2. Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2003. "Positive self-image and incentives in organizations," MPRA Paper 3141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Feb 2007.
    3. Burkhard C. Schipper & Martin Meier & Aviad Heifetz, 2005. "A Canonical Model for Interactive Unawareness," Working Papers 57, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    6. Ernst-Ludwig Von Thadden & Xiaojian Zhao, 2012. "Incentives for Unaware Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1151-1174.
    7. Modica, Salvatore & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Unawareness and Partitional Information Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 265-298, May.
    8. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2006. "Interactive unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 78-94, September.
    9. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
    10. Salvatore Modica & J.-Marc Tallon & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Unawareness and bankruptcy: A general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 259-292.
    11. Galanis, Spyros, 2007. "Unawareness of theorems," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 51816, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    12. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    13. Filiz-Ozbay, Emel, 2012. "Incorporating unawareness into contract theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 181-194.
    14. Jing Li, 2008. "A Note on Unawareness and Zero Probability," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    15. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    16. Ernst-Ludwig Thadden & Xiaojian Zhao, 2014. "Multi-task agency with unawareness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 197-222, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ernst-Ludwig Thadden & Xiaojian Zhao, 2014. "Multi-task agency with unawareness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 197-222, August.

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