Incentives and Discrimination
AbstractOptimal incentive mechanisms may require that agents are rewarded differentially even when they are completely identical and are induced to act the same. We demonstrate this point by means of a simple incentive model where agents’ decisions about effort exertion is mapped into a probability that the project will succeed. We give necessary and sufficient conditions for optimal incentive mechanisms to be discriminatory. We also show that full discrimination across all agents is required if and only if the technology has increasing return to scale. In the non-symmetric framework we show that negligible differences in agents’ attributes may result in major differences in rewards in the unique optimal mechanism.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp313.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, 2004, vol. 94, pp. 764-773.
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