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Agency Problems In Public Sector


  • Gyorgy Attila

    () (Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti, Finante, Asigurari, Banci si Burse de Valori)


Agency theory analyses the effects of contractual behaviour between two parties: principal(s) and agent(s). This relation is inevitably characterized by information asymmetry because agent holds a substantially larger volume of information than the principal. Due the negative effects of information asymmetry for the principal, this should cover supplementary costs with monitoring agents and/or grant incentives. The first objective of this paper is to emphasize the effects of information asymmetry, particularly on adverse selection and moral hazard. The second objective is to evaluate the negative effects of information asymmetry and to assess the viability of solutions proposed by scholars for mitigation. The third objective is linked with personal contribution, respectively to highlight specificity of agency theory in public sector and the mechanisms of action in this particular field. In this paper, literature is mainly based on scholarsâ€â"¢ contribution to the proposed theme. Little literature approaches agency theory in public sector, in most cases the analysis being restricted to general issues. Research methodology is based on synthesizing relevant information from literature and adapting them to public sector particularities. The results reflect some threats for public bodies in their contracting activity. Conclusions present also a set of solutions which could be used by public institutions to optimize their activity of mitigating information asymmetryâ€â"¢s effects. These solution guidelines could represent a useful instrument for make more efficient public money spending. Personal contribution and the novelty of this paper consist in presenting a new approach regarding mechanisms of managing information by agents. In case of public institutions, principals have more opportunities the take possession over the information managed by the agent. Nevertheless, agents can limit the principalâ€â"¢s access to vital information by offering excessively much information, combining few vital data with numerous unimportant information. For further research, agentâ€â"¢s information management should be depth and analyzed in which manner principal can control it.

Suggested Citation

  • Gyorgy Attila, 2012. "Agency Problems In Public Sector," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 708-712, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ora:journl:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:708-712

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniela MARINESCU & Dumitru MARIN, 2011. "Adverse Selection Models with Three States of Nature," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(555)), pages 33-46, February.
    2. Hao Zhang & Stefanos Zenios, 2008. "A Dynamic Principal-Agent Model with Hidden Information: Sequential Optimality Through Truthful State Revelation," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 681-696, June.
    3. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    4. Itoh Hideshi, 1993. "Coalitions, Incentives, and Risk Sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 410-427, August.
    5. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279.
    6. Gifford, Sharon, 1999. "Efficient moral hazard," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 427-442, December.
    7. Aloisio Pessoa_de_Araujo & Humberto L. Moreira, 2000. "Adverse Selection Problems without The Single Crossing Property," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1874, Econometric Society.
    8. Jeon, Seonghoon, 1996. "Moral hazard and reputational concerns in teams: Implications for organizational choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 297-315, May.
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    More about this item


    agency theory; information asymmetry; adverse selection; moral hayard; public resources;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • H59 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Other


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