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Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives

  • Meyer, Margaret A
  • Vickers, John

It is well known that comparative performance information (CPI) can enhance efficiency in static principal-agent relationships by improving the trade-off between insurance and incentives in the design of explicit contracts. In dynamic settings, however, there may be implicit as well as explicit incentives (e.g. managerial career concerns and the ratchet effect in regulation). We show that the dynamic effects of CPI on implicit incentives can either reinforce or oppose the familiar (static) insurance effect and can in either case be the dominant factor affecting efficiency. The overall welfare effects of CPI are thus ambiguous and can be characterized in terms of the underlying information structure.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1107.

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Date of creation: Jan 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1107
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  1. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, March.
  2. Meyer, Margaret A., 1995. "Cooperation and competition in organizations: A dynamic perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 709-722, April.
  3. Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-45, April.
  4. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1995. "Corporate Conservatism and Relative Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25, February.
  6. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
  7. Barry W. Ickes & Larry Samuelson, 1987. "Job Transfers and Incentives in Complex Organizations: Thwarting the Ratchet Effect," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 275-286, Summer.
  8. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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