Incentives and Discrimination
Optimal incentive mechanisms may require that agents are rewarded differentially even when they are completely identical and are induced to act the same. We demonstrate this point by means of a simple incentive model where agents’ decisions about effort exertion is mapped into a probability that the project will succeed. We give necessary and sufficient conditions for optimal incentive mechanisms to be discriminatory. We also show that full discrimination across all agents is required if and only if the technology has increasing return to scale. In the non-symmetric framework we show that negligible differences in agents’ attributes may result in major differences in rewards in the unique optimal mechanism.
|Date of creation:||May 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in American Economic Review, 2004, vol. 94, pp. 764-773.|
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- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
IDEI Working Papers
37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
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