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Optimal Incentives under Moral Hazard and Heterogeneous Agents: Evidence from Production Contracts Data

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  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Vukina, Tomislav

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to develop an analytical framework for estimation of the parameters of a structural model of an incentive contract under moral hazard, taking into account agents heterogeneity in preferences. We show that allowing the principal to strategically distribute the production inputs across heterogenous agents as part of the contract design, the principal is able to change what appears to be a uniform contract into individualized contracts tailored to fit agents' preferences or characteristics. Using micro level data on swine production contract settlements, we find that contracting farmers are heterogenous with respect to their risk aversion and that this heterogeneity affects the principal's allocation of production inputs across farmers. Relying on the identifying assumption that contracts are optimal, we obtain the estimates of a lower and an upper bound of agents' reservation utilities. We show that farmers with higher risk aversion have lower outside opportunities because of lower reservation utilities. ...French Abstract : L'objectif de cet article est de développer un cadre analytique pour l'estimation des paramètres d'un modèle structurel de contrat incitatif sous aléa moral prenant en compte l'hétérogénéité des préférences des agents. Les auteurs montrent qu'en permettant au principal d'allouer stratégiquement les inputs de production entre agents hétérogènes dans le choix du contrat, le principal est capable de transformer des contrats apparemment uniformes en contrats individuels paramétrés en fonction des préférences des agents ou de leurs caractéristiques. En utilisant des données microéconomiques sur la production porcine aux Etats-Unis, on s'aperçoit que les fermiers qui contractent sont hétérogènes vis à vis de leur aversion au risque et que cette hétérogénéité affecte l'allocation des inputs du principal entre les fermiers. En utilisant l'hypothèse identifiante que les contrats sont optimaux,

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 393.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Publication status: Published in International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol.�27, n°4, juillet 2009, p.�489-552.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:3384

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  1. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2004. "Male-Female Productivity Differentials: the Role of Ability and Incentives," Cahiers de recherche 0401, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  2. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2003. "Grower Risk Aversion and the Cost of Moral Hazard in Livestock Production Contracts," IDEI Working Papers 248, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Paarsch, H-J & Shearer, B, 1996. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects : Statistical Evidence From Payroll Records," Papers 9623, Laval - Recherche en Energie.
  4. Martin, Laura L., 1997. "Production Contracts, Risk Shifting, And Relative Performance Payments In The Pork Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), December.
  5. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 2002. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 564-591, June.
  6. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  7. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2007. "Do women react differently to incentives? Evidence from experimental data and payroll records," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1682-1707, October.
  8. Allen, Douglas & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash Rent versus Cropshare," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 397-426, October.
  9. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Durand, Franck & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 1998. "Moral hazard and the demand for physician services: First lessons from a French natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 499-511, May.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  11. Armando Levy & Tomislav Vukina, 2002. "Optimal linear contracts with heterogeneous agents," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 205-217, June.
  12. Dubois, Pierre, 2002. "Moral hazard, land fertility and sharecropping in a rural area of the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 35-64, June.
  13. Jaap H. Abbring & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Dynamic Insurance Data," 2004 Meeting Papers 316, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Ferrall, Christopher & Shearer, Bruce, 1999. "Incentives and Transactions Costs within the Firm: Estimating an Agency Model Using Payroll Records," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 309-38, April.
  15. Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 23, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  16. Porametr Leegomonchai & Tomislav Vukina, 2005. "Dynamic Incentives and Agent Discrimination in Broiler Production Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 849-877, December.
  17. Pannenberg, Markus, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2806, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1992. "Direct Tests of the Reservation Wage Property," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1423-32, November.
  19. Joost M. E. Pennings, 2004. "Channel Contract Behavior: The Role of Risk Attitudes, Risk Perceptions, And Channel Members' Market Structures," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 697-724, October.
  20. Jaap H. Abbring & James J. Heckman & Pierre-André Chiappori & Jean Pinquet, 2003. "Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard In Insurance: Can Dynamic Data Help to Distinguish?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 512-521, 04/05.
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Cited by:
  1. George-Levi Gayle & Limor Golan & Robert A. Miller, . "Promotion, Turover and Compensation in the Executive Market," GSIA Working Papers 2008-E32, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. Niemi, Jarkko K., 2012. "Designing coordination contracts to support efficient flow-scheduling in pork chain," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125208, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Niemi, Jarkko K. & Liu, Xing & Pietola, Kyosti, 2011. "Price volatility and return on pig fattening under different price- quantity contract regimes," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114614, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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