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Sharing with a risk-neutral agent

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  • Joseph G. Haubrich

Abstract

In the standard solution to the principal–agent problem, a risk-neutral agent bears all the risk. The author shows that, in fact, multiple solutions exist, and often the risk-neutral agent is not the sole bearer of risk. As risk aversion approaches zero, the unique risk-averse solution converges to the risk-neutral solution, wherein the agent bears the least amount of risk. Even a small degree of risk aversion can result in agents bearing significantly less risk than the standard solution suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph G. Haubrich, 2001. "Sharing with a risk-neutral agent," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 2-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcer:y:2001:i:qi:p:2-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-276, April.
    2. James A. Mirrlees, 1976. "The Optimal Structure of Incentives and Authority Within an Organization," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 105-131, Spring.
    3. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-264, April.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
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    1. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-276, April.

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