â€œOptimal Contracts with Team Production and Hidden Information: An Experimentâ€
It is standard in agency theory to search for incentive-compatible mechanisms on the assumption that people care only about their own material wealth. Yet it may be useful to consider social preferences in mechanism design and contract theory. We devise an experiment to explore optimal contracts in an adverse-selection context. A principal offers one of three possible contract menus to a team of two agents of unknown types. We observe numerous rejections of the more lopsided menus, and approach an equilibrium where one of the more equitable menus (which one depends on the reservation payoffs) is proposed and agents accept a contract, selecting actions according to their types. We estimate the Fehr and Schmidt (1999) and Charness and Rabin (2002) models of social preferences with our data, and calculate ex post optimal social-preference contracts. In both cases, the principal could substantially enhance his profitability if he could offer the derived optimal contract menu. We also find evidence that an agent is substantially more likely to reject a contract menu if her teammate rejected a contract menu in the previous period, suggesting that agents may be learning social norms.
|Date of creation:||01 Mar 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2127 North Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210|
Phone: (805) 893-3670
Fax: (805) 893-8830
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/ucsbecon_dwp/
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.:
- Nalbantian, Haig & Schotter, Andrew, 1994.
"Productivity Under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study,"
94-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
- W. Güth & W. Klose & M. Königstein & J. Schwalbach, 1996.
"An Experimental Study of a Dynamic Principal-Agent Relationship,"
SFB 373 Discussion Papers
1996,95, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
- Werner Güth & Wolfgang Klose & Manfred Königstein & Joachim Schwalbach, 1998. "An experimental study of a dynamic principal-agent relationship," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 327-341.
- Charness, Gary B & Corominas-Bosch, Margarida & FRECHETTE, GUILLAUME, 2005.
"Bargaining and Network Structure: An Experiment,"
University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series
qt7v98682v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Gary Charness & Margarida Corominas-Bosch & Guillaume R. Frechette, 2004. "Bargaining and Network Structure: An Experiment," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 653, Econometric Society.
- Keser, Claudia & Willinger, Marc, 2000. "Principals' principles when agents' actions are hidden," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 163-185, January.
- David J. Cooper, 1999. "Gaming against Managers in Incentive Systems: Experimental Results with Chinese Students and Chinese Managers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 781-804, September.
- 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.
- Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006.
"Promises and Partnership,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
- Chaudhuri, Ananish, 1998.
"The ratchet principle in a principal agent game with unknown costs: an experimental analysis,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, November.
- Ananish Chaudhuri, 1997. "The Ratchet Principle in a Principal Agent Game with Unknown Costs: An Experimental Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 199608, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Dufwenberg, Martin & Lundholm, Michael, 2001.
"Social Norms and Moral Hazard,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 506-25, July.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001.
"Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
- Werner Güth & Manfred Königstein & Judit Kovács & Enikõ Zala-Mezõ, 2001. "Fairness Within Firms: The Case Of One Principal And Multiple Agents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 53(2), pages 82-101, April.
- Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
- Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, December.
- Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003.
"Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987.
"Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt29v1b0pg. 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: (Lisa Schiff)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.