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Dynamic Moral Hazard and Project Completion

  • Mason, Robin
  • Välimäki, Juuso

We analyse a simple model of dynamic moral hazard in which there is a clear and tractable trade-off; between static and dynamic incentives. In our model, a principal wants an agent to complete a project. The agent undertakes unobservable effort, which affects in each period the probability that the project is completed. The principal pays only on completion of the project. We characterise the contracts that the principal sets, with and without commitment. We show that with full commitment, the contract involves the agent’s value and wage declining over time, in order to give the agent incentives to exert effort.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6857.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6857
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  1. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  2. PETER M. DeMARZO & YULIY SANNIKOV, 2006. "Optimal Security Design and Dynamic Capital Structure in a Continuous-Time Agency Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2681-2724, December.
  3. Phelan, Christopher & Townsend, Robert M, 1991. "Computing Multi-period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 853-81, October.
  4. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
  5. Malcomson, James M & Spinnewyn, Frans, 1988. "The Multiperiod Principal-Agent Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 391-407, July.
  6. Yuliy Sannikov, 2007. "Games with Imperfectly Observable Actions in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1285-1329, 09.
  7. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  8. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Steven Shavell & Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 503, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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