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Managerial Career Concerns and Investments in Information


  • Milbourn, Todd T
  • Shockley, Richard L
  • Thakor, Anjan V


We extend the "implicit incentives" literature by analyzing how career concerns impact a risk-neutral manager's decision of how much to learn about a project before investing in it. The manager has unknown ability that determines the probability with which a good project is available, so the market updates ability assessments from project outcomes. While project choice is efficient in equilibrium, an unobservable investment in the precision of project evaluation allows the manager to control the probabilities of future reputational states. This distorts his investment in precision above first best when project payoffs can be observed only on accepted projects. Copyright 2001 by the RAND Corporation.

Suggested Citation

  • Milbourn, Todd T & Shockley, Richard L & Thakor, Anjan V, 2001. "Managerial Career Concerns and Investments in Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 334-351, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:32:y:2001:i:2:p:334-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guth, Werner, 1995. "On ultimatum bargaining experiments -- A personal review," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 329-344, August.
    2. Mathias Dewatripont, 1988. "Commitment through renegotiation-proof contacts with third parties," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9569, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
    4. Schotter, Andrew & Zheng, Wei & Snyder, Blaine, 2000. "Bargaining Through Agents: An Experimental Study of Delegation and Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 248-292, February.
    5. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, B & Picard, P, 1995. "Competing Vertical Structures: Precommitment and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 621-646, May.
    6. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    7. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
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