Subjective ambiguity and moral hazard in a principal-agent model
AbstractIt is suggested that individual behavior under ambiguity, or knightian uncertainty, may represent an alternative explanation for contractual incompleteness with respect to the traditional approach in terms of transactions costs. This paper aims at showing that the introduction of ambiguity in the economic analysis of contracts may be very fruitful. In particular, we analyze how ambiguity affects the optimal compensation scheme in a principal-agent framework, where the principal cannot observe the agentâ€™s effort and, contrary to standard assumptions, is ambiguityaverse. Also, our model makes it possible to generalize the Mukerji (1998) approach to contractual incompleteness. In fact, it shows that incomplete contracts are costly and that, before reaching the conclusion that ambiguity leads to contractual incompleteness, their costs should be compared with those of complete contracts, other things being equal.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 64.
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
ambiguity; agency; E-capacity; contractual incompleteness.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
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- Eichberger, J. & Kelsey, D., 1996.
"E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox,"
96-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
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