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Buried in paperwork: Excessive reporting in organizations

  • Strausz, Roland

This paper offers an explanation why a principal may demand too much paperwork from a subordinate: Due to limited liability and moral hazard a principal is unable to appropriate all rents. Internal paperwork allows a more accurate monitoring of the agent and enables the principal to appropriate a larger part of the agent's rent. In her decision the principal disregards the agent's cost increase of more internal paperwork. Consequently, the requested amount of internal paperwork may be too high from both the agent's personal point of view and the organization as a whole.

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

Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 460-470

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:60:y:2006:i:4:p:460-470
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. 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.
  2. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Son Ku Kim, 1997. "Limited Liability and Bonus Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 899-913, December.
  4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 1998. "Mechanism Sufficient Statistic in the Risk-Neutral Agency Problem," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 622-, December.
  5. Roland Strausz, . "Timing of Verification Procedures: Monitoring versus Auditing," Papers 015, Departmental Working Papers.
  6. Francesca Cornelli & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Securities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 1-32, January.
  7. Nahum D. Melumad & Dilip Mookherjee, 1989. "Delegation as Commitment: The Case of Income Tax Audits," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 139-163, Summer.
  8. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  9. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  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. Strausz, R.G., 1995. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," Discussion Paper 1995-60, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. 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.
  13. Border, Kim C & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 525-40, October.
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