On the first-order approach in principal-agent models with hidden borrowing and lending
We provide sufficient conditions for the validity of the first-order approach for two-period dynamic moral hazard problems where the agent can save and borrow secretly. The first-order approach is valid if the following conditions hold: (i) the agent has non-increasing absolute risk aversion utility (NIARA), (ii) the output technology has monotone likelihood ratios (MLR), and (iii) the distribution function of output is log-convex in effort (LCDF). Moreover, under these three conditions, the optimal contract is monotone in output. We also investigate a few possibilities of relaxing these requirements.
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