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Informed principal, moral hazard, and the value of a more informative technology


  • Chade, Hector
  • Silvers, Randy


We analyze a principal-agent model with moral hazard in which the principal has private information about the technology, and the contract offered by her may signal this information to the agent. We characterize Perfect Bayesian Equilibria of the game that possess the following properties that do not arise in its complete information counterpart: first, a principal with a more informative technology ends up earning less profits than a principal with a less informative one; second, compared to the complete information case, the actions implemented by the privately informed principal can be distorted, and the distortion can even be in an upward direction (i.e., a higher action is implemented under incomplete information); third, the agent can end up being better off when the principal has private information.
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  • Chade, Hector & Silvers, Randy, 2002. "Informed principal, moral hazard, and the value of a more informative technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 291-300, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:74:y:2002:i:3:p:291-300

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-1797, November.
    2. Inderst, Roman, 2001. "Incentive schemes as a signaling device," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 455-465, April.
    3. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    4. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
    5. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    7. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
    8. Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Information Control in the Principal-Agent Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 259-269, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tröger, Thomas & Mylovanov, Timofiy, 2012. "Mechanism design by an informed principal: the quasi-linear private-values case," Working Papers 12-14, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    2. Thomas Troeger & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2010. "Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Privacy of Information," 2010 Meeting Papers 1039, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Ishiguro, Shingo, 2003. "Comparing allocations under asymmetric information: Coase Theorem revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 67-71, July.
    4. Nicholas Charles Bedard, 2017. "Contracts in informed-principal problems with moral hazard," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(1), pages 21-34, April.
    5. Bedard, Nicholas C., 2017. "The strategically ignorant principal," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 548-561.
    6. Marino, Anthony M., 2014. "Transparency in agency: The constant elasticity case and extensions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 9-21.
    7. Thomas Tröger & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2008. "Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Private Information," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
    8. Heiko Karle & Christian Staat, 2013. "Signaling Quality with Initially Reduced Royalty Rates," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Wagner, Christoph & Mylovanov, Tymofiy & Tröger, Thomas, 2015. "Informed-principal problem with moral hazard, risk neutrality, and no limited liability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 280-289.
    10. Silvers, Randy, 2012. "The value of information in a principal–agent model with moral hazard: The ex post contracting case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 352-365.
    11. Mylovanov, Timofiy & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "Informed principal problems in generalized private values environments," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(3), September.

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