The first-order approach when the cost of effort is money
We provide sufficient conditions for the first-order approach in the principal-agent problem when the agent’s utility has the nonseparable form u(y−c(a)) where y is the contractual payoff and c(a) is the money cost of effort. We first consider a decision-maker facing prospects which cost c(a) and with distributions of returns y that depend on a. The decision problem is shown to be concave if the primitive of the cdf of returns is jointly convex in a and y, a condition we call Concavity of the Cumulative Quantile (CCQ) and which is satisfied by many common distributions. Next we apply CCQ to the distribution of outcomes (or their likelihood-ratio transforms) in the principal-agent problem and derive restrictions on the utility function that validate the first-order approach. We also discuss another condition, log-convexity of the distribution, and show that it allows binding limited liability constraints, which CCQ does not.
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.:
- repec:crs:wpaper:9812 is not listed on IDEAS
- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, .
"An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2011. "A Diamond-Stiglitz approach to the demand for self-protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 45-60, February.
- Eskander Alvi, 1997. "First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems: A Generalization," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 22(1), pages 59-65, June.
- Rogerson, William P, 1985. "The First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1357-1367, November.
- Chen, An & Pelsser, Antoon & Vellekoop, Michel, 2011. "Modeling non-monotone risk aversion using SAHARA utility functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 2075-2092, September.
- Thiele, Henrik & Wambach, Achim, 1999. "Wealth Effects in the Principal Agent Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 247-260, December.
- Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988.
"Randomization with Asymmetric Information,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
- Richard J. Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," NBER Working Papers 2507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Arnott & Joseph E Stiglitz, 2010. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2054, David K. Levine.
- L. Eeckhoudt & C. Gollier, 2005.
"The impact of prudence on optimal prevention,"
- Kawasaki, Seiichi & McMillan, John, 1987. "The design of contracts: Evidence from Japanese subcontracting," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 327-349, September.
- 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.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
- David Martimort & Jérôme Pouyet, 2008.
"To build or not to build: Normative and positive theories of public-private partnerships,"
- Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2008. "To build or not to build: Normative and positive theories of public-private partnerships," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 393-411, March.
- 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.
- Sebastian Koehne & Nicola Pavoni & Arpad Abraham, 2010. "On the First-Order Approach in Principal-Agent Models with Hidden Borrowing and Lending," 2010 Meeting Papers 947, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
- R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1986. "Bidding for Contracts: A Principal-Agent Analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 326-338, Autumn.
- Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 1998.
"Should More Risk-Averse Agents Exert More Effort,"
98-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Carlier, G. & Dana, R.-A., 2005. "Existence and monotonicity of solutions to moral hazard problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 826-843, November.
- Jewitt, Ian & Kadan, Ohad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2008. "Moral hazard with bounded payments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 59-82, November.
- John R. Conlon, 2009. "Two New Conditions Supporting the First-Order Approach to Multisignal Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(1), pages 249-278, 01.
- Just, Richard E. & Pope, Rulon D., 1978. "Stochastic specification of production functions and economic implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 67-86, February.
- Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2006. "'Build It or Not': Normative and Positive Theories of Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/5371 is not listed on IDEAS
- Marco LiCalzi & Sandrine Spaeter, 2003. "Distributions for the first-order approach to principal-agent problems," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(1), pages 167-173, 01.
- Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-1190, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:49:y:2013:i:1:p:7-16. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.