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Equilibrium Principal‐Agent Contracts: Competition and R&D Incentives

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  • Federico Etro
  • Michela Cella

Abstract

We analyze competition between firms engaged in R&D activities and market competition to study the choice of the incentive contracts for managers with hidden productivity. Oligopolistic screening requires extra effort/investment from the most productive managers: under additional assumptions on the hazard rate of the distribution of types we obtain no distortion in the middle rather than at the top. The equilibrium contracts are characterized by effort differentials between (any) two types always increasing with the number of firms, suggesting a positive relation between competition and high‐powered incentives. An inverted U curve between competition and absolute investments can emerge for the most productive managers.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico Etro & Michela Cella, 2013. "Equilibrium Principal‐Agent Contracts: Competition and R&D Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 488-512, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:22:y:2013:i:3:p:488-512
    DOI: 10.1111/jems.12021
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    Cited by:

    1. Federco Etro & Michela Cella, 2010. "Oligopolistic Screening and Two-way distortion," Working Papers 200, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2010.
    2. Marco de Pinto & Laszlo Goerke & Alberto Palermo, 2024. "Informational rents and the excessive entry theorem: The case of hidden action," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 71(2), pages 237-252, May.
    3. Michela Cella & Federico Etro, 2016. "Contract competition between hierarchies, managerial compensation and imperfectly correlated shocks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 193-218, July.
    4. de Pinto, Marco & Goerke, Laszlo & Palermo, Alberto, 2023. "On the welfare effects of adverse selection in oligopolistic markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 22-41.
    5. Maria G. Romano, 2021. "R&D incentives and competitive pressure under hidden information," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(1), pages 56-78, July.
    6. Lei Bao & Yulin Zhang & Vitor Miguel Ribeiro, 2018. "Observability of Incentive Contract and Platform Competition," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 154-180, June.
    7. Giovanna Bimonte & Maria Grazia Romano & Maria Russolillo, 2021. "Green Innovation and Competition: R&D Incentives in a Circular Economy," Games, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-14, September.
    8. Lusheng Shao & Xiaole Wu & Fuqiang Zhang, 2020. "Sourcing Competition under Cost Uncertainty and Information Asymmetry," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 29(2), pages 447-461, February.
    9. Federico Etro, 2014. "Some thoughts on the Sutton approach," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 99-113, June.
    10. Ennasri, Ahmed & Willinger, Marc, 2014. "Incentives and managerial effort under competitive pressure: An experiment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 324-337.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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