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The trade-off between incentives and endogenous risk

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  • Aloisio Araujo
  • Humberto Moreira

Abstract

Standard models of moral hazard predict a negative relationship between risk and incentives, but the empirical work has not confirmed this prediction. In this paper, we propose a model with adverse selection followed by moral hazard, where effort and the degree of risk aversion are private information of an agent who can control the mean and the variance of profits. For a given contract, more risk-averse agents supply more effort in risk reduction. If the marginal utility of incentives decreases with risk aversion, more risk-averse agents prefer lower-incentive contracts; thus, in the optimal contract, incentives are positively correlated with endogenous risk. In contrast, if risk aversion is high enough, the possibility of reduction in risk makes the marginal utility of incentives increasing in risk aversion and, in this case, risk and incentives are negatively related

Suggested Citation

  • Aloisio Araujo & Humberto Moreira, 2004. "The trade-off between incentives and endogenous risk," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 152, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:152
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Pandey, Priyanka, 2000. "Contract choice in agriculture with joint moral hazard in effort and risk," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 303-326, December.
    2. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1999. "The Role of Risk in Contract Choice," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 704-736, October.
    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    4. Lafontaine, Francine & Bhattacharyya, Sugato, 1995. "The role of risk in franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 39-74, October.
    5. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Testing for Asymmetric Information in Insurance Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 56-78, February.
    6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    7. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
    8. Jaeyoung Sung, 1995. "Linearity with Project Selection and Controllable Diffusion Rate in Continuous-Time Principal-Agent Problems," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 720-743, Winter.
    9. Araujo, Aloisio & Moreira, Humberto, 2010. "Adverse selection problems without the Spence-Mirrlees condition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1113-1141, May.
    10. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Araujo, Aloisio & Moreira, Humberto, 2010. "Adverse selection problems without the Spence-Mirrlees condition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1113-1141, May.
    2. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger, 2006. "The set of equilibria of first-price auctions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 364-372, June.
    3. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger, 2009. "First-price auction symmetric equilibria with a general distribution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 256-269, January.
    4. Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro & Facchini, Giovanni, 2005. "Trade liberalization and industrial concentration: Evidence from Brazil," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 432-446, May.
    5. Flôres Junior, Renato Galvão, 2004. "On the use (fulness) of CGE modelling in trade negotiations and policy," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 564, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentives; non-monotone contracts; single-crossing property.;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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