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Getting It Done: Dynamic Incentives To Complete A Project

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  • Robin Mason
  • Juuso Välimäki

Abstract

A principal wants an agent to complete a project. The agent undertakes unobservable effort, which affects in each period the probability that the project is completed. We characterize the contracts that the principal sets, with and without commitment. With full commitment, the contract involves the agent's value and wage declining over time, in order to give the agent incentives to exert effort. The best sequentially rational equilibrium for the principal also involves the agent's wage declining over time, while the worst sequentially rational equilibrium for the principal has a constant wage (and is in fact the unique stationary equilibrium). The best (weakly) renegotiation-proof equilibrium for the principal is achieved by a constant wage that maximizes the principal's payoff, conditional on wages being constant. We compare these solutions to the efficient outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Mason & Juuso Välimäki, 2015. "Getting It Done: Dynamic Incentives To Complete A Project," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 62-97, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:1:p:62-97
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.12126
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bonatti & Heikki Rantakari, 2016. "The Politics of Compromise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(2), pages 229-259, February.
    2. Chade, Hector & Kovrijnykh, Natalia, 2016. "Delegated information acquisition with moral hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 55-92.
    3. Brett Green & Curtis R. Taylor, 2016. "Breakthroughs, Deadlines, and Self-Reported Progress: Contracting for Multistage Projects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3660-3699, December.
    4. Panu Poutvaara & Tuomas Takalo & Andreas Wagener, 2017. "The Optimal Duration of Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 6808, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Cary Deck & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2016. "Experimenting with Contests for Experimentation," Discussion Papers dp16-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    6. Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2017. "Dynamic Performance Evaluation with Deadlines: The Role of Commitment," ISER Discussion Paper 1015, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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