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Relational Delegation

  • Alonso, Ricardo

    ()

    (Northwestern University)

  • Matouschek, Niko

    ()

    (Northwestern University)

We explore the optimal delegation of decision rights by a principal to a better informed but biased agent. In an infinitely repeated game a long lived principal faces a series of short lived agents. Every period they play a cheap talk game ala Crawford and Sobel (1982) with constant bias, quadratic loss functions and general distributions of the state of the world. We characterize the optimal delegation schemes for all discount rates and show that they resemble organizational arrangements that are commonly observed, including centralization and threshold delegation. For small biases threshold delegation is optimal for almost all distributions. Outsourcing can only be optimal if the principal is sufficiently impatient.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1454.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1454.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: RAND Journal of Economics, 2007, 38 (4), 1070 - 1089
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1454
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  1. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
  2. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  3. Dessein, Wouter, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 811-38, October.
  4. Alonso, Ricardo & Matouschek, Niko, 2005. "Optimal Delegation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  6. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2008. "Contracting for information under imperfect commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 905-925.
  7. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
  8. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  9. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1996. " The Capital Budgeting Process: Incentives and Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1139-74, September.
  11. Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
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