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"Yes men", integrity, and the optimal design of incentive contracts

  • Ewerhart, Christian
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

In a pioneering approach towards the explanation of the phenomenon of "yes man" behavior in organizations, Prendergast (1993) argued that incentive contracts in employment relationships generally make a worker distort his privately acquired information. This would imply that there is a trade-off between inducing a worker to exert costly effort and inducing him to tell the truth. In contrast, we show that with optimally designed contracts, which we term integrity contracts, the worker will both exert effort and report his information truthfully, and that hence the first best can be achieved.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 43 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 115-125

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:43:y:2000:i:1:p:115-125
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
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  9. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1993. "Judicial Modification of Contracts between Sophisticated Parties: A More Complete View of Incomplete Contracts and Their Breach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 230-55, October.
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  11. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1998. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1188-1206, December.
  12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
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