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Optimal Monitoring in Teams

  • Gautier, Axel

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

This paper investigates the role of output quality control in a multi agent setting with moral hazard. The principal is in charge of a team of agents who produce the output. The marketing of this output can be either a success or entail huge losses. At the time of marketing the product, the principal is uncertain about its quality and can only observe an imperfect signal of it. This creates an ex post inefficiency (a successful project may not be undertaken) and a room for monitoring output's quality. In the paper, we describe when the principal will pay for this costly monitoring and its effect on agents' incentives to exert effort. We show that there are distortions ex ante in the contract offered by the principal and ex post in the continuation decision. The monitoring can only ensure ex post efficiency. The ex ante efficiency requires effort observability.

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File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/9906.pdf
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 1999006.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Feb 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1999006
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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  4. Cremer, Jacques, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-95, May.
  5. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1991. "Optimal Contracts for Teams," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 561-77, August.
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