The Role of the Agent's Outside Options in Principal-Agent Relationships
We consider a principal-agent model of adverse selection where, in order to trade with the principal, the agent must undertake a relationship-specific investment which affects his outside option to trade, i.e. the payoff that he can obtain by trading with an alternative principal. This creates a distinction between the agent’s ex ante (before investment) and ex post (after investment) outside options to trade. We investigate the consequences of this distinction, and show that whenever an agent's ex ante and ex post outside options differ, this equips the principal with an additional tool for screening among different agent types, by randomizing over the probability with which trade occurs once the agent has undertaken the investment. In turn, this may enhance the e¢ciency of the optimal second-best contract.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 8 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TN|
Phone: 0117 928 8415
Fax: 0117 928 8577
Web page: http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jullien, Bruno, 1997.
"Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models,"
IDEI Working Papers
67, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
- Brito, D.L. & Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M. & Stiglitz, J.E., 1989.
"Randomization In Optimal Income Tax Schedules,"
89-6, Florida - College of Business Administration.
- J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
- Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
- Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986.
"The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration,"
3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Richard J. Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988.
"Randomization with Asymmetric Information,"
NBER Working Papers
2507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland Strausz, .
"Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal--Agent Models,"
020, Departmental Working Papers.
- Strausz, Roland, 2006. "Deterministic versus stochastic mechanisms in principal-agent models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 306-314, May.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
- Maggi G. & Rodriguez-Clare A., 1995. "On Countervailing Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-263, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:08/605. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonathan Temple)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.