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.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Rank-Order Contracts for a Principal with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 807-817.
- Dilip Mookherjee, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-446.
- 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.
- Glenn MacDonald & Leslie M. Marx, 2001. "Adverse Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 864-899, August.
- F Gjesdal, 2010. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 125, David K. Levine.
- Raith, Michael, 2004.
"Specific Knowledge and Performance Measurement,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eyal Winter, 2003.
"Incentives and Discrimination,"
Discussion Paper Series
dp313, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- 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.
- Ma, Ching-to & Moore, John & Turnbull, Stephen, 1988. "Stopping agents from "cheating"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 355-372, December.
- Frøystein Gjesdal, 1982. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 373-390.
- Ola Kvaløy & Trond E. Olsen, 2009.
"Endogenous Verifiability and Relational Contracting,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2193-2208, December.
- Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2004. "Endogenous Verifiability in Relational Contracting," Discussion Papers 2004/20, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
- 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.
- George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
- 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.
- Demski, Joel S. & Sappington, David, 1984. "Optimal incentive contracts with multiple agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 152-171, June.
- Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983.
"A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts,"
3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- George Baker, 2000. "The Use of Performance Measures in Incentive Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 415-420, May.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
- 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.
- Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x.
- 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.
- Ching-To Ma, 1988. "Unique Implementation of Incentive Contracts with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 555-572.
- Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
- Bo Chen, 2010. "All-or-Nothing Monitoring: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 625-27, March.
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/6986 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
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.