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Timing of verification procedures: Monitoring versus auditing


  • Strausz, Roland


In an agency model this paper studies the strategic effect of a difference in timing of verification. A principal may choose between two equally efficient verification procedures: monitoring and auditing. Under auditing the principal receives additional information. Due to a double moral hazard problem there exists a tension between incentives for effort and incentives for verification. Auditing exacerbates this tension and, consequently, requires steeper incentive schemes than monitoring. Hence, auditing is suboptimal if 1) steep incentives structures are costly to implement due to bounded transfers, or 2) steep incentive schemes induce higher rents due to limited liability.
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  • Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Timing of verification procedures: Monitoring versus auditing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 89-107, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:59:y:2006:i:1:p:89-107

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 1985. "Input versus output incentive schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-23, October.
    2. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Buried in paperwork: Excessive reporting in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 460-470, August.
    3. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    4. Eric Maskin, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38.
    5. Khalil Fahad & Lawarree Jacques, 1995. "Input versus Output Monitoring: Who Is the Residual Claimant?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 139-157, June.
    6. Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
    7. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-1098, July.
    8. Holthausen, Robert W. & Leftwich, Richard W., 1983. "The economic consequences of accounting choice implications of costly contracting and monitoring," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 77-117, April.
    9. Roland Strausz, 2001. "Mitigating Non-Contractability with Interim Randomization," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(2), pages 231-231, June.
    10. Ross L. Watts, 1977. "Corporate Financial Statements, A Product of the Market and Political Processes," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 2(1), pages 53-75, April.
    11. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc E. Leruth & Elisabeth Paul, 2006. "A Principal-Agent Theory Approach to Public Expenditure Management Systems in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 06/204, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Buried in paperwork: Excessive reporting in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 460-470, August.
    3. Kuhn, Michael & Siciliani, Luigi, 2013. "Manipulation and auditing of public sector contracts," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 251-267.
    4. De Chiara, Alessandro & Livio, Luca, 2017. "The threat of corruption and the optimal supervisory task," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 172-186.
    5. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Phillipe, 2009. "Search of Prior Art and Revelation of Information by Patent Applicants," Working Papers 2009-21, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    6. Angelucci, Charles & Russo, Antonio, 2012. "Moral Hazard in Hierarchies and Soft Information," TSE Working Papers 12-343, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Corinne Langinier & Philippe Marcoul, 2016. "The Search of Prior Art and the Revelation of Information by Patent Applicants," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(3), pages 399-427, November.
    8. Langinier, Corinne & Marcoul, Philippe, 2007. "Patents, Search of Prior Art, and Revelation of Information," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10489, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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