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Moral Hazard and Clear Conscience

Author

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  • Miettinen, Topi

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

Abstract

The paper studies theoretically how the optimal contract in the hidden-action moral hazard model is affected when an agent feels bad when not reaching a target effort set in the contract. While the presence of guilt brings the outcome closer to first-best, an effort target is not costless for the principal. In equilibrium, the agent’s effort falls short of the target, inducing guilt which must be compensated by a higher financial reward. Thus, although the principal’s payoff is higher, the agent receives a part of the monetary rents accruing to intrinsic motivation. This result differs markedly from previous contributions on contracting under social preference or pro-social motivation.

Suggested Citation

  • Miettinen, Topi, 2009. "Moral Hazard and Clear Conscience," SITE Working Paper Series 4, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hasite:0004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dijk, Oege & Holmén, Martin, 2017. "Charity, incentives, and performance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 119-128.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Hazard; Norms; Agency; Social Preferences; Guilt; Work Ethic;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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