Mixed up? That's good for motivation
AbstractAn essential ingredient in models of career concerns is ex ante uncertainty about an agent’s type. This paper shows how career concerns can arise even in the absence of any such ex ante uncertainty, if the unobservable actions that an agent takes influence his future productivity. By implementing effort in mixed strategies the principal can endogenously induce uncertainty about the agent’s ex post productivity and generate reputational incentives. Our main result is that creating such ambiguity can be optimal for the principal, even though this exposes the agent to additional risk and reduces output. This finding demonstrates the importance of mixed strategies in contracting environments with imperfect commitment, which contrasts with standard agency models where implementing mixed strategy actions typically is not optimal if pure strategies are also implementable.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/22.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision: Sep 2004
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
Phone: +44 1784-414228
Fax: +44 1784-439534
Web page: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/
Postal: Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.
Other versions of this item:
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executive Compensation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-10-18 (All new papers)
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.:
- Koessler, Frederic, 2004. "Strategic knowledge sharing in Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 292-320, August.
- Cremer, Jacques, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-95, May.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1990.
"Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts,"
Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1279-1319, November.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Working papers 494, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999.
"The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 183-98, January.
- 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.
- Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
- Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1995.
"Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fahad Khalil, 1997. "Auditing Without Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 629-640, Winter.
- Shin Hyun Song, 1994. "The Burden of Proof in a Game of Persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 253-264, October.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998.
"Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-32, September.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1985.
"The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts,"
397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Borland, Jeff, 1992. " Career Concerns: Incentives and Endogenous Learning in Labour Markets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 251-70.
- Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
- John Fingleton, 2005. "Career Concerns of Bargainers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 179-204, April.
- Emmanuelle Auriol & Guido Friebel & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2002.
"Career Concerns in Teams,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 289-307, Part.
- Auriol, Emmanuelle & Friebel, Guido & Pechlivanos, Lambros, 2002. "Career Concerns in Teams," Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2005.
"Aligning Ambition and Incentives,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1527, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alexander K. Koch & Eloïc Peyrache, 2008. "Aligning Ambition and Incentives," Economics Working Papers 2008-16, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- Alexander K. Koch & Eloic Peyrache, 2005. "Aligning Ambition and Incentives," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 05/03, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Mar 2005.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claire Blackman).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.