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Delegation, Risk, and Project Scope


  • Andreas Roider


This paper studies a partial-contracting model where an agent may provide effort to increase a project´s scope before some later (operative) decisions have to be taken. Consistent with existing empirical evidence, we find a positive relationship between exogenous risk and delegation. That is, only if the exogenous risk is sufficiently large may the risk-neutral principal prefer to delegate authority over decisions to the risk-averse agent. Intuitively, for incentive reasons, the principal may optimally want to allow the agent to reduce his risk exposure. Nevertheless, even endogenous risk may be higher when the risk-averse agent has control.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Roider, 2009. "Delegation, Risk, and Project Scope," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(2), pages 193-209, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200906)165:2_193:draps_2.0.tx_2-o

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michel Poitevin, 2000. "Can the theory of incentives explain decentralization?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 878-906, November.
    2. repec:bla:joares:v:37:y:1999:i:1:p:27-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 318-336, Summer.
    4. Guo, Ming & Ou-Yang, Hui, 2006. "Incentives and performance in the presence of wealth effects and endogenous risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 150-191, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation


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