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Legitimacy of Control

  • Wendelin Schnedler


    (University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics)

  • Radovan Vadovic

    (ITAM Mexico City, Department of Economics)

What is the motivational effect of imposing a minimum effort require- ment? Agents may no longer exert voluntary effort but merely meet the requirement. Here, we examine how such hidden costs of control change when control is considered legitimate. We study a principal- agent model where control signals the expectations of the principal and the agent meets these expectations because he is guilt-averse. We conjecture that control is more likely to be considered legitimate (i) if it is not exclusively aimed at a specifc agent or (ii) if it protects the endowment of the principal. Given the conjecture, the model predicts that hidden costs are lower when one of the two conditions is met. We experimentally test these predictions and find them confirmed.

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Paper provided by University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0450.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision: Aug 2007
Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0450
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, . "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "On the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," IZA Discussion Papers 844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  4. Friebel, Guido & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2011. "Team governance: Empowerment or hierarchical control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 1-13, April.
  5. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  6. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  7. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 5768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  9. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
  10. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
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