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First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems: A Generalization

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  • Eskander Alvi

    () (Department of Economics, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI 49008.)

Abstract

The first-order approach (FOA) to principal agent problems is very convenient and mathematically tractable. However, existing results show that the FOA is valid only for additively separable utility functions. This is somewhat limiting. In this article sufficient conditions are identified that extend the validity of the FOA to nonseparable cases. The additional conditions involve restrictions on the agent's preferences, particularly interactions between action and the wage contract. These conditions imply that leisure is normal and the agent's absolute risk aversion increases with action. Comparative static results regarding the wage contract and its gradient are also discussed. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory (1997) 22, 59–65. doi:10.1023/A:1008663531322

Suggested Citation

  • Eskander Alvi, 1997. "First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems: A Generalization," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 22(1), pages 59-65, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:genrir:v:22:y:1997:i:1:p:59-65
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiele, Henrik & Wambach, Achim, 1999. "Wealth Effects in the Principal Agent Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 247-260, December.
    2. Fagart, Marie-Cécile & Fluet, Claude, 2013. "The first-order approach when the cost of effort is money," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 7-16.
    3. repec:eee:irlaec:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:29-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jung, Jin Yong & Kim, Son Ku, 2015. "Information space conditions for the first-order approach in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 243-279.
    5. Dominique Henriet & Patrick Pintus & Alain Trannoy, 2014. "Is the Flat Tax Optimal under Income Risk?," AMSE Working Papers 1420, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 30 May 2014.
    6. Edward Simpson Prescott, 1999. "A primer on moral-hazard models," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 47-78.

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