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Auditing policies and information

Author

Listed:
  • Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné
  • Marie-Cécile Fagart

Abstract

We first point out that, using any of the current criteria for comparing information systems in principal-agent models with moral hazard (such as Kim (1994)'s criterion), it is often impossible to contrast the value of information obtained from different policies of contingent audits that bear the same cost. Given two such policies A and B where, say, the lower cumulated frequencies of audits are always larger under B than under A, we show, however, that the likelihood ratio distribution associated with A dominates the one associated with B in the third order. A new, strictly finer, ranking of information systems then implies that the value of information is greater under A than under B when the agent's negative inverse utility function exhibits some prudence. The practical upshot is that the design of auditing policies involves somewhat more than the classical tradeoff between risk and incentives; it also requires to balance incentives and downside risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné & Marie-Cécile Fagart, 2004. "Auditing policies and information," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 86, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:86
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esNAWM04/up.2281.1047592993.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Whitmore, G A, 1970. "Third-Degree Stochastic Dominance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 457-459, June.
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    3. Keenan, Donald C & Snow, Arthur, 2002. "Greater Downside Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 267-277, May.
    4. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    5. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-1190, September.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    7. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    10. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schneider, Thierry, 1995. "Risk-aversion, prudence and temperance: A unified approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 331-336, June.
    11. Hartwick, John M., 1999. "Insuring and u'''(y)," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 205-212, November.
    12. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-932, December.
    13. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    14. repec:bla:joares:v:23:y:1985:i:2:p:633-647 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. AMIR, Rabah & CZUPRYNA, Marcin, 2004. "On inverse utility and third-order effects in the economics of uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers 2004045, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Principal-agent; moral hazard; value of information; likelihood ratio distribution; third-order stochastic dominance; prudence;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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