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Repeated Interaction and the Revelation of the Monitor's Type: A Principal-Monitor-Agent Problem

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  • Osório Costa, Antonio Miguel

Abstract

This paper studies a dynamic principal-monitor-agent relation where a strategic principal delegates the task of monitoring the effort of a strategic agent to a third party. The latter we call the monitor, whose type is initially unknown. Through repeated interaction the agent might learn his type. We show that this process damages the principal's payoffs. Compensation is assumed exogenous, limiting to a great extent the provision of incentives. We go around this difficulty by introducing costly replacement strategies, i.e. the principal replaces the monitor, thus disrupting the agent's learning. We found that even when replacement costs are null, if the revealed monitor is strictly preferred by both parties, there is a loss in efficiency due to the impossibility of bene…tting from it. Nonetheless, these strategies can partially recover the principal's losses. Additionally, we establish upper and lower bounds on the payoffs that the principal and the agent can achieve. Finally we characterize the equilibrium strategies under public and private monitoring (with communication) for different cost and impatience levels.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/151619
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/151619.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/151619

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Keywords: 33 - Economia;

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  1. Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
  2. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
  3. Cole, Harold L & Dow, James & English, William B, 1995. "Default, Settlement, and Signalling: Lending Resumption in a Reputational Model of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 365-85, May.
  4. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  5. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  6. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2005. "Contract theory," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9543, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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