IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jetheo/v147y2012i6p2158-2189.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal incentives and the time dimension of performance measurement

Author

Listed:
  • Raith, Michael

Abstract

I study optimal incentive contracting in a two-period model in which an agentʼs action generates an output with delay, and a noisy signal of output early. Under very general conditions, the optimal contract depends on the early signal as well as on output even if the signal is uninformative of effort, given output, and even if the agent has access to credit. An important characteristic of any performance measure, therefore, is the time at which it is generated. The results shed light on the use of forward-looking performance measures such as stock returns or earnings with accruals for accounts receivable.

Suggested Citation

  • Raith, Michael, 2012. "Optimal incentives and the time dimension of performance measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2158-2189.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:6:p:2158-2189 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2012.09.010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053112001032
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1990. "Short-term contracts and long-term agency relationships," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-31, June.
    2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
    3. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    4. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-1367, November.
    5. Ábrahám, Árpád & Koehne, Sebastian & Pavoni, Nicola, 2011. "On the first-order approach in principal-agent models with hidden borrowing and lending," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1331-1361, July.
    6. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1587-1621, September.
    7. J. A. Mirrlees, 1999. "The Theory of Moral Hazard and Unobservable Behaviour: Part I," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 3-21.
    8. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-1190, September.
    9. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Macho, Ines & Rey, Patrick & Salanie, Bernard, 1994. "Repeated moral hazard: The role of memory, commitment, and the access to credit markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 1527-1553.
    12. Atkeson Andrew & Lucas Jr. , Robert E., 1995. "Efficiency and Equality in a Simple Model of Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 64-88, June.
    13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    14. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    15. William P. Rogerson, 2008. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Investment Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 931-950, October.
    16. Alessandro Lizzeri & Margaret A. Meyer & Nicola Persico, 2002. "The Incentive Effects of Interim Performance Evaluations," Penn CARESS Working Papers 592e9328faf6e775bf331e1c0, Penn Economics Department.
    17. Sunil Dutta, 2002. "Revenue Recognition in a Multiperiod Agency Setting," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 67-83, March.
    18. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
    19. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Efficient Allocations with Hidden Income and Hidden Storage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 523-542.
    20. Árpád Ábrahám & Nicola Pavoni, 2005. "The Efficient Allocation of Consumption under Moral Hazard and Hidden Access to the Credit Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 370-381, 04/05.
    21. Lambert, Richard A., 2001. "Contracting theory and accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 3-87, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal incentives; Performance measurement; Intertemporal consumption; Informativeness; Timeliness;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:6:p:2158-2189. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.