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Distorted Performance Measures and Dynamic Incentives

  • Kaarbøe, Oddvar M.


    (Programme for Health Economics (HEB), Department of Economics, University of Bergen)

  • Olsen, Trond E.


    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Incentive contracts must typically be based on performance measures that do not exactly match agents' true contribution to principals' objectives. Such misalignment may impose difficulties for effective incentive design. We analyze to what extent implicit dynamic incentives such as career concerns and ratchet effects alleviate or aggravate these problems. Our analysis demonstrates that the interplay between distorted performance measures and implicit incentives implies that career and ratchet effects have real effects, that career and monetary incentives may be complements, and that stronger ratchet effects or more distortion may increase optimal monetary incentives.

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Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2004/21.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 29 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2004_021
Contact details of provider: Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
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  1. Wendelin Schnedler, 2003. "On the Prudence of Rewarding A While Hoping for B," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/067, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Robert Gibbons, 1986. "Piece-Rate Incentive Schemes," Working papers 424, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. repec:bla:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:1:p:199-217 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 2 :application to missions and accountability of government agencies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9641, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1997. "Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 547-81, June.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  7. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  8. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  9. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts In The Presence Of Career Concerns: Theory And Evidence," Working papers 563, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  11. Meyer, M.A. & Olsen, T.E. & Torsvik, G., 1995. "Limited Intertemporal Commitment and Job Design," Economics Papers 102, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  12. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
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