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This paper examines moral hazard in teams over time. Agents are collectively engaged in an uncertain project, and their individual efforts are unobserved. Free-riding leads not only to a reduction in effort, but also to procrastination. The collaboration dwindles over time, but never ceases as long as the project has not succeeded. In fact, the delay until the project succeeds, if it ever does, increases with the number of agents. We show why deadlines, but not necessarily better monitoring, help to mitigate moral hazard.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1695.

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Length: 102 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: Nov 2009
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review (April 2011), 101(2): 632-663
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1695
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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Fershtman, Chaim & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Dynamic voluntary provision of public goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1057-1067, July.
  2. Nicolas Vieille & Dinah Rosenberg & Eilon Solan, 2007. "Social Learning in One-Arm Bandit Problems," Post-Print hal-00464609, HAL.
  3. Leslie M. Marx & Steven A. Matthews, . ""Dynamic Voluntary Contribution to a Public Project''," CARESS Working Papres 99-01, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-276.
  5. Gradstein, Mark, 1992. "Time Dynamics and Incomplete Information in the Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 581-97, June.
  6. Ma, Ching-to & Moore, John & Turnbull, Stephen, 1988. "Stopping agents from "cheating"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 355-372, December.
  7. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171.
  8. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Ulrich Hege & D. Bergemann, 2012. "The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping," Working Papers hal-00759793, HAL.
  11. Dinah Rosenberg & Eilon Solan & Nicolas Vieille, 2007. "Social Learning in One-Arm Bandit Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1591-1611, November.
  12. Mason, Robin & Välimäki, Juuso, 2008. "Dynamic Moral Hazard and Project Completion," CEPR Discussion Papers 6857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Strausz, Roland, 1999. "Efficiency in Sequential Partnerships," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 140-156, March.
  14. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
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