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Moral Hazard and Clear Conscience

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Author Info

  • Miettinen, Topi

    ()
    (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

Abstract

The paper studies theoretically how the optimal contract in the hidden-action moral hazard model is affected when an agent feels bad when not reaching a target effort set in the contract. While the presence of guilt brings the outcome closer to first-best, an effort target is not costless for the principal. In equilibrium, the agent’s effort falls short of the target, inducing guilt which must be compensated by a higher financial reward. Thus, although the principal’s payoff is higher, the agent receives a part of the monetary rents accruing to intrinsic motivation. This result differs markedly from previous contributions on contracting under social preference or pro-social motivation.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hasite/papers/hasite0004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics in its series SITE Working Paper Series with number 4.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 08 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0004

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: (+46 8) 736 9670
Fax: (+46 8) 31 64 22
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/site/
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Related research

Keywords: Moral Hazard; Norms; Agency; Social Preferences; Guilt; Work Ethic;

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  1. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  2. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  3. Topi Miettinen, 2006. "Promises and Conventions - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen, 2001. "Social norms and optimal incentives in firms," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 466, Stockholm School of Economics.
  6. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  8. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  10. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  11. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
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