Time of the essence
In most industries, ranging from information systems development to construction, an overwhelming proportion of projects are delayed beyond estimated completion time. This fact constitutes somewhat of a puzzle for existing theory. The present paper studies project delays and optimal contracts under moral hazard in a setting with time to build. Within this setup, project delays are found to be most likely to happen at early stages of development, and intimately connected to the degree of commitment of the procurer and the class of contracts that can be enforced. The firstbest, optimal spot contracting and optimal long-term contract scenarios are analyzed, as well as commonly encountered additional constraints on the long-term contract.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Flavio Toxvaerd, 2003.
"A Theory of Optimal Deadlines,"
Discussion Paper Series
dp357, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-67, November.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1997.
"Incentives for Procrastinators,"
1181, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
- Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
- Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
- Sobel, Joel, 1992. "How to Count to One Thousand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 1-8, January.
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