IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Revisiting the Tradeoff between Risk and Incentives: The Shocking Effect of Random Shocks

Listed author(s):
  • Brice Corgnet

    ()

    (Chapman University)

  • Roberto Hernán-González

    (University of Nottingham)

Despite its central role in the theory of incentives, empirical evidence of a tradeoff between risk and incentives remains scarce. We reexamine this empirical puzzle in a controlled laboratory environment so as to isolate possible confounding factors encountered in the field. In line with the principal-agent model, we find that principals increase fixed pay while lowering performance pay when the relationship between effort and output is noisier. Unexpectedly, agents produce substantially more in the noisy environment than in the baseline despite lesser pay for performance. We show that this result can be accounted for by introducing agents’ loss aversion in the principal-agent model. Our findings call for an extension of standard agency models and for a reassessment of apparently inefficient management practices.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions/economic-science-institute/_files/WorkingPapers/corgnet_hernan-gonzalez_principal-agent-paper.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 15-05.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:15-05
Contact details of provider: Postal:
One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866

Phone: (714) 628-2830
Fax: (714) 628-2881
Web page: http://www.chapman.edu/esi/
Email:


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.:

as
in new window


  1. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2010. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent is Free to Leave," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 329, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 219-255.
  3. 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.
  4. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, December.
  5. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & Eric Schniter, 2015. "Why real leisure really matters: incentive effects on real effort in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(2), pages 284-301, June.
  6. Brice Corgnet & Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres & Roberto Hernán-González, 2015. "Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(12), pages 2926-2944, December.
  7. Jed Devaro & Fidan Ana Kurtulus, 2010. "An Empirical Analysis of Risk, Incentives and the Delegation of Worker Authority," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(4), pages 641-661, July.
  8. Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2010. "The effect of noise in a performance measure on work motivation: A real effort laboratory experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 751-765, October.
  9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
  10. Tanjim Hossain & John A. List, 2012. "The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(12), pages 2151-2167, December.
  11. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Optimal incentive contracts under inequity aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 312-328, July.
  12. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
  13. Roland Fryer & Steven Levitt & John List & Sally Sadoff, 2012. "Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives through Loss Aversion: A Field Experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00591, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  15. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "Do Workers Work More if Wages Are High? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 298-317, March.
  16. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-1199, December.
  17. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  18. Corgnet, Brice & Hernan-Gonzalez, Roberto & Rassenti, Stephen, 2015. "Peer Pressure and Moral Hazard in Teams: Experimental Evidence," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(4), pages 379-403, December.
  19. Vital Anderhub & Simon Gächter & Manfred Königstein, 2002. "Efficient Contracting and Fair Play in a Simple Principal-Agent Experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, June.
  20. Gächter, Simon & Johnson, Eric J. & Herrmann, Andreas, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
  22. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  23. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-Gonzalez & Stephen Rassenti, 2013. "Firing Threats and Tenure: Incentive effects and impression management," Working Papers 13-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  24. Florian Ederer & Richard Holden & Margaret A. Meyer, 2014. "Gaming and Strategic Opacity in Incentive Provision," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000875, David K. Levine.
  25. Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-279, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:15-05. 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: (Megan Luetje)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.