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Transparency and incentives among peers


  • Eyal Winter


This article studies the effect of transparency among peers on the principal's cost of providing incentives. Using directed graphs to represent peer information, we show that under complementarity the cost of providing incentives is decreasing with the level of transparency within the organization. We also investigate the role of the architecture of the information in boosting incentives. In arguing that substitution impedes the benefits of transparency, we will compare function-based teams with process-based teams, showing that the latter are more effective in providing incentives. Copyright (c) 2010, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Eyal Winter, 2010. "Transparency and incentives among peers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 504-523.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:41:y:2010:i:3:p:504-523

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eyal Winter, 2004. "Incentives and Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 764-773, June.
    2. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
    3. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    4. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-636, May.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    6. Knez, Marc & Simester, Duncan, 2001. "Firm-Wide Incentives and Mutual Monitoring at Continental Airlines," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 743-772, October.
    7. Eyal Winter, 2009. "Incentive Reversal," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 133-147, August.
    8. Baliga, Sandeep & Sjostrom, Tomas, 1998. "Decentralization and Collusion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 196-232, December.
    9. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Collusion, Exclusion, and Inclusion in Random-Order Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 439-460.
    10. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1999. "Process- Versus Function-Based Hierarchies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 453-487, December.
    11. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
    12. Eyal Winter, 2006. "Optimal incentives for sequential production processes," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 376-390, June.
    13. Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Teams," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
    14. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2004. "Teams, Teamwork and Absence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 765-782, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balmaceda, Felipe, 2016. "Optimal task assignments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Hougaard, Jens Leth & Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Tvede, Mich & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2017. "Sharing the proceeds from a hierarchical venture," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 98-110.
    3. Esteban F. Klor & Sebastian Kube & Eyal Winter & Ro'i Zultan, 2011. "Can Higher Bonuses Lead to Less E ort? Incentive Reversal in Teams," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000073, David K. Levine.
    4. Elmar A. Janssen, 2014. "The Influence of Transparency on Investments in Climate Protecting - An Economic Experiment," Working Papers Dissertations 06, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    5. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Pepito, Nona, 2011. "Double-edged transparency in teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 531-542.
    6. Julia Nafziger & Heiner Schumacher, 2013. "Information Management and Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 140-163, March.
    7. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1232-1287, December.
    8. Kräkel, Matthias, 2016. "Peer effects and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 120-127.
    9. Bel, Roland & Smirnov, Vladimir & Wait, Andrew, 2015. "Team composition, worker effort and welfare," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-8.
    10. Eva-Maria Steiger & Ro'i Zultan, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-040, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.
    12. Babaioff, Moshe & Feldman, Michal & Nisan, Noam & Winter, Eyal, 2012. "Combinatorial agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 999-1034.
    13. Klor, Esteban F. & Kube, Sebastian & Winter, Eyal & Zultan, Ro’i, 2014. "Can higher rewards lead to less effort? Incentive reversal in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 72-83.
    14. Zhou, Junjie, 2016. "Economics of leadership and hierarchy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 88-106.

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