We develop a general principal–agent framework in which to study optimal incentive schemes where agents are hired to work on multiple heterogeneous and interdependent projects. The incentive schemes can be based on output measures, interpreted as the principal’s payoffs, as well as input measures, regarded as observation of some of the agents’ efforts. We identify that a unifying feature of the optimal incentive schemes, called all-or-nothing payments, arises in three natural scenarios of the general framework: unobservable inputs, verifiable inputs, and observable but unverifiable inputs. Our framework and results embed and generalize several previous studies on multitask principal–agent problems with a limited liability constraint.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983.
"A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts,"
3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Bo Chen, 2010. "All-or-Nothing Monitoring: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 625-27, March.
- Malcomson, James M, 1986. "Rank-Order Contracts for a Principal with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 807-17, October.
- Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
- Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2004.
"Endogenous Verifiability in Relational Contracting,"
2004/20, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
- Ola Kvaløy & Trond E. Olsen, 2009. "Endogenous Verifiability and Relational Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2193-2208, December.
- Demski, Joel S. & Sappington, David, 1984. "Optimal incentive contracts with multiple agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 152-171, June.
- 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.
- George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
- Schnedler, Wendelin & Ratto, Marisa, 2008.
"Too Few Cooks Spoil the Broth : Division of Labor and Directed Production,"
Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine
123456789/6986, Paris Dauphine University.
- Ratto Marisa & Schnedler Wendelin, 2008. "Too Few Cooks Spoil the Broth: Division of Labor and Directed Production," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-19, August.
- Marisa Ratto & Wendelin Schnedler, 2008. "Too Few Cooks Spoil the Broth: Division of Labour and Directed Production," Working Papers 0468, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
- Eyal Winter, 2003.
"Incentives and Discrimination,"
Discussion Paper Series
dp313, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
- Wendelin Schnedler, 2008. "When Is It Foolish to Reward for A While Benefiting from B?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 595-619, October.
- Michael Raith, 2008.
"Specific knowledge and performance measurement,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1059-1079.
- Glenn MacDonald & Leslie M. Marx, 2001. "Adverse Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 864-899, August.
- George Baker, 2000. "The Use of Performance Measures in Incentive Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 415-420, May.
- Kenneth S. Corts, 2007. "Teams versus individual accountability: solving multitask problems through job design," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 467-479, 06.
- Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
- F Gjesdal, 2010. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 125, David K. Levine.
- Mookherjee, Dilip, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 433-46, July.
- Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 2000. "Multitask agency problems: Focus and task clustering," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 869-877, May.
- Laux, Christian, 2001. "Limited-Liability and Incentive Contracting with Multiple Projects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 514-26, Autumn.
- Ma, Ching-To, 1988. "Unique Implementation of Incentive Contracts with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 555-72, October.
- Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
- Ma, Ching-to & Moore, John & Turnbull, Stephen, 1988. "Stopping agents from "cheating"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 355-372, December.
- Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
- Bond, Philip & Gomes, Armando, 2009. "Multitask principal-agent problems: Optimal contracts, fragility, and effort misallocation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 175-211, January.
- Gjesdal, Froystein, 1982. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 373-90, July.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:48:y:2012:i:3:p:133-142. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.