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Cost of Moral Hazard and Limited Liability in the Principal-Agent Problem


  • F. Balmaceda
  • S.R. Balseiro
  • J.R. Correa
  • N.E. Stier-Moses



In this paper we quantify the potential social-welfare loss due to the existence of limited liability in the principal-agent problem. The worst-case welfare loss is defined as the largest possible ratio between the social welfare when the agent chooses the effort that is optimal for the system and that of the sub-game perfect equilibrium of the game. Our main result establishes that under the monotone likelihood-ratio property and a limited liability constraint, the worst-case welfare loss (also known as the Price of Anarchy) is exactly equal to the number of efforts available.

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  • F. Balmaceda & S.R. Balseiro & J.R. Correa & N.E. Stier-Moses, 2010. "Cost of Moral Hazard and Limited Liability in the Principal-Agent Problem," Documentos de Trabajo 275, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:275

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    1. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera & Sebastian Gallegos, 2010. "Public-Private Wage Gap In Latin America (1999-2007): A Matching Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 268, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nasri, Mostafa & Bastin, Fabian & Marcotte, Patrice, 2015. "Quantifying the social welfare loss in moral hazard models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 245(1), pages 226-235.

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