IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Career Concerns and Performance Reporting in Optimal Incentive Contracts

  • Wolitzky Alexander


    (Microsoft Research and Stanford University)

In many contracting settings incentives are provided not only through transfers but also through performance reports to prospective employers. This paper studies a principal-agent model of this kind, in which the principal sends a non-verifiable report of output to a competitive labor market interested in the agent's ability. It is assumed that the principal and agent write an enforceable contract over both payments and reports as a function of output, and that the contract terms they agree to cannot be observed by the market. When contracts are unrestricted, reports cannot affect the agent's future wage in equilibrium, because the agent will always pay the principal to give a good report. Under limited liability, reports can affect future wages, but only by designating output as "good" or "bad." This informative performance reporting benefits the principal, and may more than make up for the costs imposed by limited liability. The possibilities that the market may have some direct information about output, that the principal may have additional information about the agent's ability, and that the principal may have psychological or reputational costs of misreporting output are also considered.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-32

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:6
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:6. 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: (Peter Golla)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.