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Overconfidence in a Career-Concerns Setting

  • Leonidas Enrique De La Rosa

We study the effects of overconfidence in a two-period investment-decision agency setting. Under common priors, agent risk aversion implies inefficiently low first-period investment. In our model, principal and agent disagree about the profitability of the investment decision conditional on a given public signal. An overconfident agent believes that the principal will update her beliefs upwards more often than not. As a consequence, the agent overestimates the benefits of learning from first-period investment. This implies that agent overconfidence mitigates the agency problems arising from the agent’s career concerns, even though an overconfident agent bears more project and reputational risk in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2405.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2405
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  1. Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2003. "Positive self-image and incentives in organizations," MPRA Paper 3141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Feb 2007.
  2. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  3. Tobias Adrian & Mark M. Westerfield, 2009. "Disagreement and Learning in a Dynamic Contracting Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 3873-3906, October.
  4. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1993. "Managerial Preferences Concerning Risky Projects," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 127-35, April.
  5. Simon Gervais & Terrance Odean, . "Learning To Be Overconfident," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 5-97, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Erik Eyster & Matt Rabin, 2003. "Cursed Equilibrium," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303002, EconWPA.
  7. Simon Gervais & Itay Goldstein, 2007. "The Positive Effects of Biased Self-Perceptions in Firms," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 11(3), pages 453-496.
  8. Morris, Stephen, 1995. "The Common Prior Assumption in Economic Theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 227-253, October.
  9. Pinto, Luis Santos, 2007. "Positive Self-Image and Incentives in Organizations," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp509, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  10. Bengt Holmstrom & Joan Ricart i Costa, 1986. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 835-860.
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