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Double-Sided Moral Hazard, Efficiency Wages, and Litigation

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  • Matthias Kräkel

Abstract

We consider a moral-hazard problem in a principal-agent relationship. Each party can renege on the signed contract since verification of effort is costly and subject to uncertainty. It is shown that ex-post litigation can restore incentives of the agent. Moreover, when the litigation can be settled by the parties, the pure threat of using the legal system may suffice to implement the first-best solution. This finding is quite robust. In particular, it holds for situations where the agent is protected by limited liability, where the parties have different technologies in the litigation contest, or where the agent is risk averse. (JEL D86, J33, K41) The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Kräkel, 2010. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard, Efficiency Wages, and Litigation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 337-364.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:26:y::i:2:p:337-364
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewn024
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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