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A principal-agent model of sequential testing

  • Gerardi, Dino

    ()

    (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Maestri, Lucas

    ()

    (Toulouse School of Economics)

This paper analyzes the optimal provision of incentives in a dynamic information acquisition process. In every period, the agent can acquire costly information that is relevant to the principal's decision. Each signal may or may not provide definitive evidence in favor of the good state. Neither the agent's effort nor the realizations of his signals are observable. First, we assume that the agent has no private information at the time of contracting. Under the optimal mechanism, the agent is rewarded only when his messages are consistent with the state. The payments that the agent receives when he correctly announces the good state increase over time. We then characterize the optimal mechanisms when the agent has superior information about the state at the outset of the relationship. The principal prefers to offer different contracts if and only if the agent types are sufficiently diverse. Finally, all agent types benefit from their initial private information.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:914
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econtheory.org

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  1. Khalil, F & Rochet, J-C, 1997. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 97-16, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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  8. Biais, Bruno & Mariotti, Thomas & Plantin, Guillaume & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2004. "Dynamic Security Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 4753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
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  11. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  13. Gromb, Denis & Martimort, David, 2007. "Collusion and the organization of delegated expertise," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 271-299, November.
  14. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
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  16. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
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