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Cost Padding, Auditing and Collusion


  • Jean-Jacques Laffont
  • Jean Tirole


This paper first studies how cost padding, auditing and collusion with auditors affect the power of incentive schemes in procurement and regulation. Unaudited cost padding requires fixed price contracts. Incentive schemes are more powerful under imperfect auditing than under perfect auditing and less powerful than under no auditing. The effect of collusion in auditing on the optimal power of incentive schemes is ambiguous; high-powered schemes reduce the incentive for cost padding and thus are less affected by collusion; however, they also yield higher rents and therefore make firms more willing to prevent release of evidence of cost padding. Monitoring of effort, the second topic of this paper, is a substitute for the use of low-powered incentive schemes to extract the informational rents. It thus enables the regulator to afford more powerful incentive schemes. Collusion in auditing unambiguously lowers the power of incentive schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1992. "Cost Padding, Auditing and Collusion," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 25-26, pages 205-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:1992:i:25-26:p:205-226

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
    2. Osband, Kent, 1987. "Speak softly, but carry a big stick: On optimal targets under moral hazard," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 584-595, December.
    3. Zou, Liang, 1991. "The target-incentive system vs. the price-incentive system under adverse selection and the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-89, October.
    4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-641, June.
    5. Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
    6. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1987. "Monitoring, Moral Hazard, Asymmetric Information, and Risk Sharing in Procurement Contracting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 509-532, Winter.
    7. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
    8. Guesnerie, Roger & Picard, Pierre & Rey, Patrick, 1989. "Adverse selection and moral hazard with risk neutral agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 807-823, April.
    9. Picard, Pierre, 1987. "On the design of incentive schemes under moral hazard and adverse selection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 305-331, August.
    10. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1987. "Competition for Agency Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 296-307, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Gauthier & Jonathan Goyette, 2016. "Fiscal policy and corruption," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 57-79, January.
    2. Chu, Leon Yang & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "A note on optimal procurement contracts with limited direct cost inflation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 745-753, November.

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