How Ego-threats Facilitate Contracts Based on Subjective Evaluations
AbstractWe show that individuals’ desire to protect their self-esteem against ego-threatening feedback can mitigate moral hazard in environments with purely subjective performance evaluations. In line with evidence from social psychology we assume that agents’ react aggressively to evaluations by the principal which do not coincide with their own positive self-perceptions and thereby generate costs of conflict for the principal. We identify conditions for a positive welfare effect of increasing costs of conflict or increasing sensitivity to ego-threats, 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 University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-19.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
contracts; Subjective evaluations; self-esteem; ego-threats;
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-2008-10-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2008-10-07 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBE-2008-10-07 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2008-10-07 (Contract Theory & Applications)
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