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Why an Informed Principal May Leave Rents to an Agent

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  • Beaudry, Paul

Abstract

This paper characterizes incentive contracts for the situation where a principal is privately informed about the technology governing an agency relationship. In contrast to a standard principal-agent relationship, it is shown that a principal who values effort highly will choose to induce effort by paying a high base wage and low bonus payments. Moreover, the equilibrium contract has the principal transferring rents to the agent even though contracting possibilities are unrestricted and both principal and agent are risk neutral. Consequently, the informed-principal framework is shown to provide a rational for the payment of efficiency wages. Copyright 1994 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Beaudry, Paul, 1994. "Why an Informed Principal May Leave Rents to an Agent," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 821-832, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:35:y:1994:i:4:p:821-32
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    Cited by:

    1. Gürtler, Marc & Gürtler, Oliver, 2014. "The interaction of explicit and implicit contracts: A signaling approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 135-146.
    2. Martimort, D. & Poudou, J.-C. & Sand-Zantman, W., 2006. "Contracting for an Innovation under Bilateral Asymmetric Information," Cahiers du LASER (LASER Working Papers) 2006.19, LASER (Laboratoire de Science Economique de Richter), Faculty of Economics, University of Montpellier 1.
    3. Wagner, Christoph & Mylovanov, Tymofiy & Tröger, Thomas, 2015. "Informed-principal problem with moral hazard, risk neutrality, and no limited liability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 280-289.
    4. Eberhard Feess & Michael Schieble & Markus Walzl, 2011. "Why it Pays to Conceal: On the Optimal Timing of Acquiring Verifiable Information," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 100-123, February.
    5. Silvers, Randy, 2012. "The value of information in a principal–agent model with moral hazard: The ex post contracting case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 352-365.
    6. Tröger, Thomas & Mylovanov, Timofiy, 2012. "Mechanism design by an informed principal: the quasi-linear private-values case," Working Papers 12-14, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    7. Vahey, Shaun P., 2004. "Signalling ability to pay and rent sharing dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2327-2339, October.
    8. Canegallo, Claudia, 1999. "Funzionamento del mercato del lavoro in presenza di informazione asimmetrica. Una rassegna della letteratura," POLIS Working Papers 8, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    9. Nicholas Charles Bedard, 2017. "Contracts in informed-principal problems with moral hazard," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(1), pages 21-34, April.
    10. William Fuchs, 2015. "Subjective Evaluations: Discretionary Bonuses and Feedback Credibility," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 99-108, February.
    11. Rolf Tisljar, 2002. "Mechanism Design by an Informed Principal - Pure-Strategy Equilibria for a Common Value Model," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
    12. Bedard, Nicholas C., 2017. "The strategically ignorant principal," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 548-561.
    13. Thomas Tröger & Tymofiy Mylovanov, 2008. "Optimal Auction Design and Irrelevance of Private Information," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
    14. Heiko Karle & Christian Staat, 2013. "Signaling Quality with Initially Reduced Royalty Rates," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    15. Feess,Eberhard & Schieble,Michael & Markus,Walzl, 2004. "When should principals acquire verifiable information?," Research Memorandum 049, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    16. Shin, Dongsoo, 2015. "Incentives and management styles," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 22-31.

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