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Delay and deadlines: freeriding and information revelation in partnerships


  • Campbell, Arthur
  • Ederer, Florian
  • Spinnewijn, Johannes


We study two sources of delay in teams: freeriding and lack of communication. Partners contribute to the value of a common project, but have private information about the success of their own efforts. When the deadline is far away, unsuccessful partners freeride on each others' efforts. When the deadline draws close, successful partners stop revealing their success to maintain their partners' motivation. We derive comparative statics results for common team performance measures and find that the optimal deadline maximizes productive efforts while avoiding unnecessary delays. Welfare is higher when information is only privately observable rather than revealed to the partnership.

Suggested Citation

  • Campbell, Arthur & Ederer, Florian & Spinnewijn, Johannes, 2014. "Delay and deadlines: freeriding and information revelation in partnerships," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56861, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:56861

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
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    3. Alessandro Bonatti & Johannes Horner, 2011. "Collaborating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 632-663, April.
    4. Ufuk Akcigit & Qingmin Liu, 2011. "The Role of Information in Competitive Experimentation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000321, David K. Levine.
    5. Mathias Dewatripont & Isabelle Brocas & Juan Carrillo, 2004. "Commitment devices under self-control problems: an overview," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9665, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Hongbin Cai, 2009. "Costly participation and heterogeneous preferences in informational committees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 173-189.
    7. L. J. Bourgeois, III & Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, 1988. "Strategic Decision Processes in High Velocity Environments: Four Cases in the Microcomputer Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(7), pages 816-835, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2015. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113046, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Altmann, Steffen & Traxler, Christian & Weinschenk, Philipp, 2017. "Deadlines and Cognitive Limitations," IZA Discussion Papers 11129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Katolnik, Svetlana & Schöndube, Jens Robert, 2014. "Don't Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Strategic Delay in Project Completion," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-533, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Sofia Moroni, 2016. "Experimentation in Organizations," Working Paper 5876, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    5. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Marc Möller, 2016. "Team Adaptation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1421, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    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. Bonatti, Alessandro & Rantakari, Heikki, 2014. "The Politics of Compromise," CEPR Discussion Papers 9910, 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. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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