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Optimal Long-Term Contracting with Learning

Author

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  • Feng Gao
  • Zhiguo He
  • Bin Wei
  • Jianfeng Yu

Abstract

We introduce uncertainty into Holmstrom and Milgrom (1987) to study optimal long-term contracting with learning. In a dynamic relationship, the agent's shirking not only reduces current performance but also increases the agent's information rent due to the persistent belief manipulation effect. We characterize the optimal contract using the dynamic programming technique in which information rent is the unique state variable. In the optimal contract, the optimal effort is front-loaded and decreases stochastically over time. Furthermore, the optimal contract exhibits an option-like feature in that incentives increase after good performance. Implications about managerial incentives and asset management compensations are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng Gao & Zhiguo He & Bin Wei & Jianfeng Yu, 2016. "Optimal Long-Term Contracting with Learning," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2016-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Swagata Bhattacharjee, 2019. "Dynamic Contracting for Innovation Under Ambiguity," Working Papers 1022, Ashoka University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2019.
    2. Zsolt Bihary & P'eter Ker'enyi, 2019. "Gig Economy: A Dynamic Principal-Agent Model," Papers 1902.10021, arXiv.org.
    3. Jianjun Miao & Alejandro Rivera, 2016. "Robust Contracts in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1405-1440, July.
    4. Swagata Bhattacharjee, 2019. "Dynamic Contracting for Innovation Under Ambiguity," Working Papers 15, Ashoka University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2019.
    5. Jakša Cvitanić & Xuhu Wan & Huali Yang, 2013. "Dynamics of Contract Design with Screening," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(5), pages 1229-1244, May.
    6. Hakenes, Hendrik & Katolnik, Svetlana, 2017. "On the incentive effects of job rotation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 424-441.
    7. Yaoyao Wu & Jinqiang Yang & Zhentao Zou, 2018. "Ambiguity sharing and the lack of relative performance evaluation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(1), pages 141-157, July.
    8. Vasama, Suvi, 2017. "On moral hazard and persistent private information," Research Discussion Papers 15/2017, Bank of Finland.
    9. Fichera, Eleonora & Banks, James & Siciliani, Luigi & Sutton, Matt, 2018. "Does patient health behaviour respond to doctor effort?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 225-251.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    executive compensation; moral hazard; Bayesian learning; hidden information; belief manipulation; private savings; continuous time; stock options;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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