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The role of private benefits in information acquisition

  • Hori, Kazumi

In many cases, the cost of hiring an agent to acquire information is lower than the cost for the principal to perform that task. However, because of a difference in preferences between the principal and the agent, the principal often cannot fully utilize the agent's expertise. This paper considers the cost of motivating the agent to acquire information and inducing him to report truthfully. The larger the private benefit, the greater is the cost of eliciting true information. At the same time, a private benefit may reduce the cost of motivating information acquisition. Thus, there are cases in which an agent with a different preference is desirable.

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

Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (December)
Pages: 626-631

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:68:y:2008:i:3-4:p:626-631
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Crémer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1996. "Strategic Information Gathering Before a Contract Is Offered," IDEI Working Papers 61, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Khalil, F & Rochet, J-C, 1997. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 97-16, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  4. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
  5. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
  6. Stole, Lars A, 1992. "The Economics of Liquidated Damage Clauses in Contractual Environments with Private Information," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 582-606, October.
  7. Chung, T.Y., 1991. "On the Social Optimality of Liquidated Damage Clauses: An Economic Analysis," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9102, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  8. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
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