IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v99y2009i3p883-908.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Misselling through Agents

Author

Listed:
  • Roman Inderst
  • Marco Ottaviani

Abstract

This paper analyzes the implications of the inherent conflict between two tasks performed by direct marketing agents: prospecting for customers and advising on the product's "suitability" for the specific needs of customers. When structuring salesforce compensation, firms trade off the expected losses from "misselling" unsuitable products with the agency costs of providing marketing incentives. We characterize how the equilibrium amount of misselling (and thus the scope of policy intervention) depends on features of the agency problem including: the internal organization of a firm's sales process, the transparency of its commission structure, and the steepness of its agents' sales incentives. (JEL M31, M37, M52)

Suggested Citation

  • Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2009. "Misselling through Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 883-908, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:3:p:883-908
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.3.883
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.3.883
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Minton, Bernadette & Sanders, Anthony & Strahan, Philip E., 2004. "Securitization by Banks and Finance Companies: Efficient Financial Contracting or Regulatory Arbitrage?," Working Paper Series 2004-25, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    2. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, February.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas & Joel Shapiro, 2004. "Conflicts of Interest, Information Provision, and Competition in Banking," NBER Working Papers 10571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bolton, Patrick & Freixas, Xavier & Shapiro, Joel, 2007. "Conflicts of interest, information provision, and competition in the financial services industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 297-330, August.
    5. Steven D. Levitt & Christopher M. Snyder, 1997. "Is No. News Bad News? Information Transmission and the Role of "Early Warning" in the Principal-Agent Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 641-661, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dimitris Georgarakos & Roman Inderst, 2011. "Financial Advice and Stock Market Participation," BCL working papers 51, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    2. Yiquan Gu & Tobias Wenzel, 2012. "Strategic Obfuscation and Consumer Protection Policy in Financial Markets: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2012-14, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Mikhail Drugov & Rocco Macchiavello, 2014. "Financing Experimentation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 315-349, February.
    4. Georges Dionne & Sara Malekan, 2017. "Optimal Form of Retention for Securitized Loans under Moral Hazard," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-13, October.
    5. Inderst, Roman, 2010. "Misselling (financial) products: The limits for internal compliance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 35-37, January.
    6. Giat, Yahel & Subramanian, Ajay, 2013. "Dynamic contracting under imperfect public information and asymmetric beliefs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2833-2861.
    7. H Peyton Young, 2014. "The Evolution of Social Norms," Economics Series Working Papers 726, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Schottmuller, C. & Boone, J., 2012. "Stochastic Mechanisms and Quasi-Linear Preferences," Discussion Paper 2012-047, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Pol Antràs & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3140-3183, December.
    10. David Bardey & Denis Gromb & David Martimort & Jérôme Pouyet, 2016. "Drugs, Showrooms and Financial Products: Competition and Regulation when Sellers Provide Expert Advice," PSE Working Papers halshs-01400841, HAL.
    11. Imhof, Lorens & Kräkel, Matthias, 2014. "Bonus pools and the informativeness principle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 180-191.
    12. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 19, pages 1697-1767, Elsevier.
    13. Bel Germà & Fageda Xavier & E. Mildred, 2014. "Is private production of public services cheaper than public production? A meta-regression analysis of solid waste and water services," Public administration issues, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 103-140.
    14. Bognar, Katalin & Romley, John A. & Bae, Jay P. & Murray, James & Chou, Jacquelyn W. & Lakdawalla, Darius N., 2017. "The role of imperfect surrogate endpoint information in drug approval and reimbursement decisions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-12.
    15. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2012. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 67-87.
    16. Nieken, Petra & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2012. "Repeated moral hazard and contracts with memory: A laboratory experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 1000-1008.
    17. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "The pros and cons of workplace tournaments," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 302-302, October.
    18. Karel Janda, 2006. "Lender and Borrower as Principal and Agent," Working Papers IES 2006/24, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jul 2006.
    19. Roman Inderst & Manuel Klein, 2007. "Innovation, endogenous overinvestment, and incentive pay," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 881-904, December.
    20. Alvaro Forteza & Cecilia Noboa, 2014. "Discretion Rather than Simple Rules: the Case of Social Protection," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0814, Department of Economics - dECON.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:3:p:883-908. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.