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Too few cooks spoil the broth

Author

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  • Marisa Ratto
  • Wendelin Schnedler

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Abstract

We consider a principal-agent relationship in which two tasks need to be carried out. Each task involves a decision. The principal can neither contract on the two decisions nor on the benefit which she receives from them but only on a signal, which simultaneously reflects both. We show that the efficient choice cannot be achieved if the principal employs a single agent. If, however, the principal employs a second agent, she can set a payment scheme such that the efficient choice can be implemented. We also examine when this implementation is vulnerable to collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Ratto & Wendelin Schnedler, 2003. "Too few cooks spoil the broth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/090, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/090
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    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp90.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olsen, Trond E & Torsvik, Gaute, 1998. "Collusion and Renegotiation in Hierarchies: A Case of Beneficial Corruption," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 413-438, May.
    2. Roland Strausz, 1997. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 337-357.
    3. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-656, May.
    4. Susan Athey & John Roberts, 2001. "Organizational Design: Decision Rights and Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 200-205, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe Balmaceda, 2012. "On the Optimality of One-size-fits-all Contracts: The Limited Liability Case," Documentos de Trabajo 291, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    2. Christian Espinosa & Juan Gorigoitía & Carlos Maquieira, 2012. "Nonlinear behaviour of EMBI index:the case of eastern European countries," Working Papers 37, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.
    3. Grout, Paul & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2008. "Non-Profit Organizations in a Bureaucratic Environment," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-17, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    4. Kragl, Jenny & Schöttner, Anja, 2011. "Wage Floors and Optimal Job Design," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48731, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Jenny Kragl & Anja Schöttner, 2014. "Wage Floors, Imperfect Performance Measures, And Optimal Job Design," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 525-550, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hidden action; moral hazard; optimal contract; job design; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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