Optimal contracts based on subjective evaluations and reciprocity
AbstractAs we have demonstrated in a recent laboratory experiment [see Sebald and Walzl (2012)], individuals tend to sanction others who subjectively evaluate their performance whenever this assessment falls short of the individual's self-evaluation even if their earnings are unaffected by the assessment. Hence, performance assessments which fall short of the agents' self-evaluation can be interpreted as an unkind act that triggers a negatively reciprocal response not only if the assessment determines an agent's earnings but also if it lacks monetary consequences. We propose a principal-agent model that accommodates this kind of payoff independent reciprocity and identify conditions for a positive welfare effect of increasing costs of conflict or increasing psychological sensitivity, and a negative welfare effect of a more informative information technology. As a consequence, principals may choose imperfect information technologies in equilibrium even if the signal quality is costless.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2012-16.
Date of creation: Aug 2012
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More information through EDIRC
Contracts; Subjective Evaluations; Self-Esteem; Ego-Threats; Reciprocity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2012-09-03 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-EXP-2012-09-03 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2012-09-03 (Microeconomics)
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