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Asymmetric Awareness and Moral Hazard

  • Sarah Auster
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    This paper introduces asymmetric awareness into the classical principal-agent model and discusses the optimal contract between a fully aware principal and an unaware agent. The principal enlarges the agent’s awareness strategically when proposing the contract. He faces a trade off between participation and incentives. Leaving the agent unaware allows him to exploit the agent’s incomplete understanding of the world. Making the agent aware enables the principal to use the revealed contingencies as signals about the agent’s action choice. The optimal contract reveals contingencies that have low probability but are highly informative about the agent’s effort.

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    Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2011/.

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    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/31
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    1. repec:pit:wpaper:378 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aviad Heifetz & Martin Meier & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2009. "Unawareness, Beliefs and Speculative Trade," Working Papers 920, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    3. Salvatore Modica & J.-Marc Tallon & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Unawareness and bankruptcy: A general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 12(2), pages 259-292.
    4. Nabil I. Al-Najjar & Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2003. "Undescribable Events," CESifo Working Paper Series 1092, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
    6. Luís Santos-Pinto, 2008. "Positive Self-image and Incentives in Organisations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1315-1332, 08.
    7. Leonidas Enrique de la Rosa, 2007. "Overconfidence and Moral Hazard," Economics Working Papers 2007-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    8. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    9. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    10. HEIFETZ, Aviad & MEIER, Martin & SCHIPPER, Burkhard C., 2004. "Interactive unawareness," CORE Discussion Papers 2004059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    11. Kim-Sau Chung & Oliver Board, 2007. "Object-Based Unawareness," Working Papers 2007-2, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, revised 24 Aug 2007.
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