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Optimal Delegation with a Finite Number of States

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  • Vincent Anesi

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Daniel J. Seidmann

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on optimal delegation, dating back to Holmstrom's (1984) seminal work. In contrast to models in the Holmstrom tradition, we assume that the set of states is finite. We provide a full characterization of the class of optimal delegation sets under this assumption, and show that they have a different structure from that in the continuous-state model. As the number of states tends to infinity, however, every optimal delegation set converges to that of Holmstrom (1984). We also show that, for intermediate bias, the Ally Principal fails for small changes in bias, the Uncertainty Principle may fail, and the principal prefers to appoint an amateur agent.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Anesi & Daniel J. Seidmann, 2009. "Optimal Delegation with a Finite Number of States," Discussion Papers 2009-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2009-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vincent Anesi & Daniel J. Seidmann, 2009. "Optimal Delegation with a Finite Number of States," Discussion Papers 2009-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal delegation; finite states; Ally Principle; Uncertainty Principle; expertise;

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