Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards
The ability of four contracts within the general class of exogenous targeting instruments, proposed by Segerson (1988), to induce socially optimal outcomes in a group moral hazard environment is investigated in an experiment based on Nalbantian and Schotter (1987). Both contracts based on the Holmstrom (1982) forcing contract with multiple equilibria, and contracts based on the Segerson study with unique equilibria are tested. My result -- that contracts can be designed that mitigate the moral hazard problem at the aggregate level -- is a significant advance on the result of Nalbantian and Schotter -- that costly monitoring or competitive teams are required to solve the moral hazard problem. It is shown that this result is robust to uncertainty as well as experience. However, none of the contracts insures compliance at the individual level, and as a result hefty fines may be accrued by individuals even when they choose the socially optimal action.
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