Fairness, Incentives, and Contractual Choices
AbstractThis paper examines how the presence of a non-negligible fraction of reciprocally fair actors changes the provision of incentives through contracts. We provide experimental evidence that principals have a strong preference for less complete contracts although the standard self-interest model predicts that they should prefer the more complete contract. Our theoretical analysis shows that fairness concerns can explain this preference for less completeness. Fair principals keep their promises which provides strong pecuniary incentives through an incomplete contract. Selfish principals free-ride and exploit the agents. Counter-intuitively, selfish agents are induced to work by an incomplete contract while fair agents shirk.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 020.
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Fairness; Reciprocity; Incomplete Contracts; Incentives;
Other versions of this item:
- C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
- J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-05-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2000-05-08 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-IND-2000-05-08 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-MIC-2000-05-08 (Microeconomics)
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