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|
|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
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- 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.
- 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, 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 & 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, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
- 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.
- 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.
- Charness, Gary & Corominas-Bosch, Margarida & Frechette, Guillaume R., 2007.
"Bargaining and network structure: An experiment,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 28-65, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937.
- 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.
- Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997.
"Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-341, June.
- Nalbantian, Haig & Schotter, Andrew, 1994. "Productivity Under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 94-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006.
"Promises and Partnership,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bentley MacLeod, 2001.
"Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation,"
Theory workshop papers
357966000000000036, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Dufwenberg, Martin & Lundholm, Michael, 1997.
"Social Norms and Moral Hazard,"
Working Paper Series
1997:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.