IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1726.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incentives for Experimenting Agents

Author

Abstract

We examine a repeated interaction between an agent, who undertakes experiments, and a principal who provides the requisite funding for these experiments. The agent's actions are hidden, and the principal, who makes the offers, cannot commit to future actions. We identify the unique Markovian equilibrium (whose structure depends on the parameters) and characterize the set of all equilibrium payoffs, uncovering a collection of non-Markovian equilibria that can Pareto dominate and reverse the qualitative properties of the Markovian equilibrium. The prospect of lucrative continuation payoffs makes it more expensive for the principal to incentivize the agent, giving rise to a dynamic agency cost. As a result, constrained efficient equilibrium outcomes call for nonstationary outcomes that front-load the agent's effort and that either attenuate or terminate the relationship inefficiently early.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Horner & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "Incentives for Experimenting Agents," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1726, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1726
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d17/d1726.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Motivating Innovation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1823-1860, October.
    2. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, March.
    3. Gerardi, Dino & Maestri, Lucas, 2012. "A principal-agent model of sequential testing," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(3), September.
    4. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2009.
    5. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1994. " Robust Financial Contracting and the Role of Venture Capitalists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 371-402, June.
    6. Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti & Guillaume Plantin & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2007. "Dynamic Security Design: Convergence to Continuous Time and Asset Pricing Implications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 345-390.
    7. Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006. "Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
    8. Simon, Leo K & Stinchcombe, Maxwell B, 1989. "Extensive Form Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1171-1214, September.
    9. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    10. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrigh Hege, 2005. "The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 719-752, Winter.
    11. Boyan Jovanovic & Balàzs Szentes, 2007. "On the Return to Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 12874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
    13. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
    14. Bergemann, Dirk & Hege, Ulrich, 1998. "Venture capital financing, moral hazard, and learning," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 703-735, August.
    15. Guillaume Plantin & Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2004. "Dynamic Security Design," GSIA Working Papers 2005-E5, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    16. Asher Blass & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Financing R&D in mature companies: An empirical analysis," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(5), pages 425-447.
    17. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2010. "Strategic experimentation with Poisson bandits," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(2), May.
    18. Peeters, Carine & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno van, 2003. "Measuring Innovation Competencies and Performances: A Survey of Large Firms in Belgium," IIR Working Paper 03-16, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    19. Hellwig, Martin F., 1983. "A note on the implementation of rational expectations equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 1-8.
    20. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege & Liang Peng, 2008. "Venture Capital and Sequential Investments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1682R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2009.
    21. Perry Motty & Reny Philip J., 1993. "A Non-cooperative Bargaining Model with Strategically Timed Offers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 50-77, February.
    22. Denis, Diane K. & Shome, Dilip K., 2005. "An empirical investigation of corporate asset downsizing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 427-448, June.
    23. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
    24. Francesca Cornelli & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Securities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-32.
    25. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-1489, December.
    26. Bergin, James & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Continuous Time Repeated Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 21-37, February.
    27. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 2001. "The Venture Capital Revolution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 145-168, Spring.
    28. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    29. Mason, Robin & Välimäki, Juuso, 2008. "Dynamic Moral Hazard and Project Completion," CEPR Discussion Papers 6857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Heidhues, Paul & Rady, Sven & Strack, Philipp, 2015. "Strategic experimentation with private payoffs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 531-551.
    2. Terstiege, Stefan, 2014. "Private versus verifiable interim performance evaluations under uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 341-344.
    3. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:148-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Klein, Nicolas, 2016. "The importance of being honest," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    5. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2015. "Keeping your options open," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 47-68.
    6. Gomes, Renato & Gottlieb, Daniel & Maestri, Lucas, 2016. "Experimentation and project selection: Screening and learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 145-169.
    7. Bhaskar, Venkataraman, 2012. "Dynamic Moral Hazard, Learning and Belief Manipulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2015. "A Tenure-Clock Problem," ISER Discussion Paper 0919, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    9. Weng, Xi, 2015. "Dynamic pricing in the presence of individual learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 262-299.
    10. Besanko, David & Tong, Jian & Wu, Jianjun, 2016. "Subsidizing research programs with "if" and "when" uncertainty in the face of severe informational constraints," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1605, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    11. Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2017. "Dynamic Performance Evaluation with Deadlines: The Role of Commitment," ISER Discussion Paper 1015, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2017. "Rewarding Mediocrity? Optimal Regulation of R&D Markets with Reputation Concerns," ISER Discussion Paper 0994, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    13. Catherine Bobtcheff & Raphaël Levy, 2017. "More Haste, Less Speed? Signaling through Investment Timing," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 148-186, August.
    14. Bhaskar, Venkataraman, 2014. "The Ratchet Effect Re-examined: A Learning Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 9956, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimentation; Learning; Agency; Dynamic agency; Venture capital; Repeated principal-agent problem;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1726. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Regan). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cowleus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.