IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Delegation

  • Dezso Szalay

    (University of Mannheim)

How should a principal delegate a task to an agent? This paper studies the choice of an agent's discretion as a contracting problem. We show that the agent's freedom of action can be used as an effective incentive device: the agent's initiative is determined by the discretion he has in decision making. Due to this incentive effect the relationship between the severity of the conflict of principal's and agent's interests and the agent's optimal discretion in decision making is potentially non-monotonic: it may be optimal to curtail a subordinate's authority over decision making even if there are no conflicting interests concerning that decision. Our theory provides a rationale for commonly observed phenomena such as ''demanding clear statements'' from advisors or ''imposing an innovation bias'' on an organizational structure.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 0749.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0749
Contact details of provider: Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0749. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.