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Buried in paperwork: Excessive reporting in organizations

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  • Strausz, Roland

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Buried in paperwork: Excessive reporting in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 460-470, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:60:y:2006:i:4:p:460-470
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 622-622, December.
    2. Roland Strausz, 1997. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 337-357.
    3. 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.
    4. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    6. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Timing of verification procedures: Monitoring versus auditing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 89-107, 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. Francesca Cornelli & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Securities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-32.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    13. 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.
    14. Son Ku Kim, 1997. "Limited Liability and Bonus Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 899-913, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Timing of verification procedures: Monitoring versus auditing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 89-107, January.
    2. Susanne Ohlendorf & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2012. "Repeated Moral Hazard And Contracts With Memory: The Case Of Risk‐Neutrality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 433-452, May.
    3. Reinshagen, Felix, 2012. "Standards and Incentives under Moral Hazard with Limited Liability," Discussion Papers in Economics 12750, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Reinshagen, Felix, 2011. "Standards and Incentives in Safety Regulation," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13430, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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