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Delegation and information revelation

  • GAUTIER, Axel
  • PAOLINI, Dimitri

This paper addresses the question of delegation in an organization where there is an initial asymmetry of information between the principal and the agent. We assume that the principal cannot use revelation techniques à la Baron Myerson to elicit agent's superior information and in contrast, we posit that the decision and the state of the world parameter cannot be contracted for. With these simple contracts, we show that delegation is an alternative to contracting to elicit agent's information. We can show that delegated decisions completely reveal the state of the world to the principal. Therefore the principal can extract agent's information by giving up the control right over some decisions. As the organization takes a sequence of decisions, the information learned by the principal can be used for the other decisions. So delegation is only partial: the principal delegates some decisions and keeps control over other.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number 2018.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2018
Note: In : Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 163(4), 574-597, 2007
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  1. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  2. Legros Patrick, 1993. "Information Revelation in Repeated Delegation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 98-117, January.
  3. Martimort, David, 1997. " A Theory of Bureaucratization Based on Reciprocity and Collusive Behavior," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 555-79, December.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. repec:cep:stitep:/1996/303 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  7. Freixas, Xavier & Guesnerie, Roger & Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 173-91, April.
  8. Riley, John G, 1979. "Informational Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 331-59, March.
  9. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1998. "Capital budgeting and delegation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 259-289, December.
  11. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  12. Melumad, Nahum & Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "A theory of responsibility centers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 445-484, December.
  13. Armstrong, M., 1994. "Delegation and discretion," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9421, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  14. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  15. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  16. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
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