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Controlling innovative projects with moral hazard and asymmetric information

  • Bergmann, Rouven
  • Friedl, Gunther
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    We study optimal incentive contracts offered to a research and development (R&D) manager, who can propose an innovative project and is in charge of conducting this project. The manager has private information about the project profitability and he exerts unobservable levels of different kinds of effort in order to increase the feasibility of successfully completing the project in terms of meeting product specifications. In particular, we analyze a situation, in which two interrelated performance measures on different hierarchical levels are available for contracting purposes. We show how asymmetric information about the project and further characteristics of the project influence the weights of the performance measures. We also make a number of empirical predictions about the composition of compensation contracts for R&D managers.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 9 (October)
    Pages: 1504-1514

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:9:p:1504-1514
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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    1. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
    2. Shenhar, Aaron J. & Dvir, Dov, 1996. "Toward a typological theory of project management," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 607-632, June.
    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
    4. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, June.
    5. Dvir, Dov & Lechler, Thomas, 2004. "Plans are nothing, changing plans is everything: the impact of changes on project success," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-15, January.
    6. Taylor, Curtis R, 1993. "Delivery-Contingent Contracts for Research," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 188-203, April.
    7. Honig-Haftel, Sandra & Martin, Linda R, 1993. " The Effectiveness of Reward Systems on Innovative Output: An Empirical Analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 261-69, December.
    8. Rajiv Lal & V. Srinivasan, 1993. "Compensation Plans for Single- and Multi-Product Salesforces: An Application of the Holmstrom-Milgrom Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(7), pages 777-793, July.
    9. Amiya K. Basu & Rajiv Lal & V. Srinivasan & Richard Staelin, 1985. "Salesforce Compensation Plans: An Agency Theoretic Perspective," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 267-291.
    10. Davila, Antonio, 2003. "Short-term economic incentives in new product development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1397-1420, September.
    11. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    12. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    13. Bushman, Robert M. & Indjejikian, Raffi J., 1993. "Accounting income, stock price, and managerial compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 3-23, April.
    14. Scott Keating, A., 1997. "Determinants of divisional performance evaluation practices," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 243-273, December.
    15. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
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