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Relative performance or team evaluation? Optimal contracts for other-regarding agents

  • Bartling, Björn

This paper derives optimal incentive contracts for agents with other-regarding preferences. It offers a behavioral explanation for the empirically observed lack of relative performance evaluation. We analyze a principal-multi agent model and assume that agents are inequity averse or status seeking. We show that team contracts can be optimal even if the agents' performance measures are positively correlated such that relative performance evaluation would be optimal with purely self-interested agents and even though relative performance evaluation provides additional incentives to provide effort if agents have other-regarding preferences. Furthermore, optimal incentive contracts for other-regarding agents can be low-powered as compared to contracts for purely self-interested agents.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111000606
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 183-193

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:183-193
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Bartling, Björn & Siemens, Ferdinand von, 2006. "The Intensity of Incentives in Firms and Markets: Moral Hazard with Envious Agents," Discussion Papers in Economics 913, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Agell, J. & Lundborg, P., 1999. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Papers 1999:12, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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  4. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet & Carsten Helm, 2006. "Output and wages with inequality averse agents," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-413, May.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Optimal Contracts When a Worker Envies His Boss," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-137, May.
  8. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2003. "Group vs. Individual Performance Pay When Workers Are Envious," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-10, CIRANO.
  9. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse32_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
  11. Alesina, Alberto F & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Conyon, Martin J & Murphy, Kevin J, 2000. "The Prince and the Pauper? CEO Pay in the United States and United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F640-71, November.
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  14. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2005. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Inequity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 1643, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bartling, Björn & Siemens, Ferdinand von, 2007. "Equal Sharing Rules in Partnerships," Discussion Papers in Economics 2027, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. repec:adr:anecst:y:2003:i:71-72:p:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  20. Pedro Rey-Biel, . "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  21. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  22. Kragl, Jenny & Schmid, Julia, 2009. "The impact of envy on relational employment contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 766-779, November.
  23. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
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