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Dynamic Contracts with Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection

  • Alex Gershkov
  • Motty Perry

We study a novel dynamic principal--agent setting with moral hazard and adverse selection (persistent as well as repeated). In the model, an agent whose skills are his private information faces a finite sequence of tasks, one after the other. Upon arrival of each task, the agent learns its level of difficulty and then chooses whether to accept or refuse each task in turn and how much effort to exert. Although his decision to accept or refuse a task is publicly known, the agent's effort level is his private information. We characterize optimal contracts and show that the per-period utility of the agent approaches his per-period utility when his skills are publicly known, as the discount factor and the time horizon increase. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 79 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 268-306

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:1:p:268-306
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  1. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
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  7. Yuliy Sannikov, 2008. "A Continuous-Time Version of the Principal-Agent Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 957-984.
  8. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Tomasz Sadzik & Yuliy Sannikov, 2009. "Dynamic Incentive Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Bengt Holmstrom & Paul Milgrom, 1987. "Short-Term Contracts and Long-Term Agency Relationships," Working papers 468, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. PETER M. DeMARZO & YULIY SANNIKOV, 2006. "Optimal Security Design and Dynamic Capital Structure in a Continuous-Time Agency Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2681-2724, December.
  11. Rubinstein, Ariel & Yaari, Menahem E., 1983. "Repeated insurance contracts and moral hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 74-97, June.
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