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Optimal linear contracts with heterogeneous agents

Author

Listed:
  • Armando Levy
  • Tomislav Vukina

Abstract

This paper examines the class of linear contracts in a simple principal--agent model in which agents are heterogeneous in their abilities to perform a task for the principal. We show that in the absence of transaction costs, the optimal linear contract is a set of individualised contracts. The fact that individualised contracts are rarely observed may be explained by the presence of transaction costs. The equilibrium that emerges depends on the costs of screening relative to the heterogeneity in agents' abilities. In the monopsony case, the dynamic incentives of the agents preclude individualised contracts even if transaction costs are not significant. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Armando Levy & Tomislav Vukina, 2002. "Optimal linear contracts with heterogeneous agents," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 205-217, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:erevae:v:29:y:2002:i:2:p:205-217
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zheng, Xiaoyong & Vukina, Tomislav, 2007. "Efficiency gains from organizational innovation: Comparing ordinal and cardinal tournament games in broiler contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 843-859, August.
    2. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2009. "Optimal incentives under moral hazard and heterogeneous agents: Evidence from production contracts data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 489-500, July.
    3. Olmos, Marta Fernández & Grazia, Cristina & Perito, Maria Angela, 2011. "Quality and Double Sided Moral Hazard in Share Contracts," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 12(1), January.
    4. Wang, Yanguo & Jaenicke, Edward C., 2005. "Pooling, Separating, and Cream-Skimming In Relative-Performance Contracts," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24639, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Tomislav Vukina & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Rank-Order Tournament Games with Private Information," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(3), pages 651-664.
    6. Vedel, Suzanne Elizabeth & Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl & Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark, 2015. "Contracts for afforestation and the role of monitoring for landowners’ willingness to accept," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 29-37.
    7. Golman, Russell & Bhatia, Sudeep, 2012. "Performance evaluation inflation and compression," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 534-543.
    8. Wang, Yanguo & Jaenicke, Edward C., 2004. "Static And Dynamic Efficiency Of Pooled Broiler Contracts: Relative-Performance Contracts Vs. Fixed-Performance Contracts," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20406, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Deng, Wendong & Hendrikse, George, 2014. "Social capital and incentives in the provision of product quality by cooperatives," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182687, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Wang, Yanguo & Jaenicke, Edward C., 2005. "Pooling, Separating, and Cream-Skimming In Relative-Performance Contracts," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19522, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloïc, 2008. "Moral hazard contracts: Does one size fit all?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 399-401, September.
    12. Tomislav Vukina & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2011. "Homogenous and Heterogenous Contestants in Piece Rate Tournaments: Theory and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 506-517, October.
    13. Armando Levy & Tomislav Vukina, 2004. "The League Composition Effect in Tournaments with Heterogeneous Players: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 353-378, April.
    14. Niladri Syam & James Hess & Ying Yang, 2013. "Sales contests versus quotas with imbalanced territories," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 229-244, September.

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