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Managing Intrinsic Motivation in a Long-Run Relationship

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  • Eliaz, Kfir
  • Spiegler, Ran

Abstract

We study a repeated principal-agent interaction, in which the principal offers a "spot" wage contract at every period, and the agent’s outside option follows a Markov process with i.i.d shocks. If the agent rejects an offer, the two parties are permanently separated. At any period during the relationship, the agent is productive if and only if his wage does not fall below a "reference point" (by more than an infinitesimal amount), which is defined as his lagged-expected wage in that period. We characterize the game’s unique subgame perfect equilibrium. The equilibrium path exhibits an aspect of wage rigidity. The agent’s total discounted rent is equal to the maximal shock value.

Suggested Citation

  • Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2014. "Managing Intrinsic Motivation in a Long-Run Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 10056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10056
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette & Christian Zehnder, 2009. "A Behavioral Account of the Labor Market: The Role of Fairness Concerns," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 355-384, May.
    2. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2004. "Confidence-Enhanced Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1536-1557, December.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    4. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2014. "Reference Dependence and Labor Market Fluctuations," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 159-200.
    5. Fang, Hanming & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2005. "Morale hazard," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 749-777, May.
    6. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic principal agent; Reference-Dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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