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Are you a Good Employee or Simply a Good Guy? Infl?uence Costs and Contract Design

Author

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  • Brice Corgnet

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Ismael Rodriguez-Lara

    (Dpto. Analisis Economico, Universidad de Valencia, ERICES)

Abstract

We develop a principal-agent model with a moral hazard problem in which the principal has access to a hard signal (the level of output) and a soft signal (the supervision signal) about the agent?s level of effort. We show that the agent?'s ability to manipulate the soft signal increases the cost of implementing the effcient equilibrium, leading to wage compression when the infl?uence cost is privately incurred by the agent. When manipulation activities negatively affect the agent?s productivity through the level of output, the design of infl?uence-free contracts that deter manipulation may lead to high-powered incentives. This result implies that high-productivity workers face incentive schemes that are more sensitive to hard evidence than those faced by their low-productivity counterparts. In that context, the principal will tolerate infl?uence for low-productivity workers but not for high-productivity workers. We also fi?nd that in the case of productivity-based costs, it may be optimal for the principal not to supervise the agent, even if supervision is costless.

Suggested Citation

  • Brice Corgnet & Ismael Rodriguez-Lara, 2012. "Are you a Good Employee or Simply a Good Guy? Infl?uence Costs and Contract Design," Working Papers 12-02, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. De Chiara, Alessandro & Livio, Luca, 2017. "The threat of corruption and the optimal supervisory task," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 172-186.
    2. Corgnet, Brice & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael, 2013. "Are you a good employee or simply a good guy? Influence costs and contract design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 259-272.
    3. Brice Corgnet & Ludivine Martin & Peguy Ndodjang & Angela Sutan, 2015. "On the Merit of Equal Pay: When Influence Activities Interact with Incentive Setting," Working Papers 15-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    principal-agent model with supervision; contract design; in?uence activities; manipulation; productivity-based influence costs; power of incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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