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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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 74 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
Pages: 291-300

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:74:y:2002:i:3:p:291-300
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  1. Sanford J Grossman & Oliver D Hart, 2001. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000339, David K. Levine.
  2. Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1767-97, November.
  3. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  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. Inderst, Roman, 1998. "Incentives Schemes as a Signaling Device," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-36, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. 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 259-69, May.
  7. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  8. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
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