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Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent Is Free to Leave

Author

Listed:
  • Englmaier, Florian

    () (University of Munich)

  • Muehlheusser, Gerd

    () (University of Hamburg)

  • Roider, Andreas

    () (University of Regensburg)

Abstract

We characterize optimal incentive contracts in a moral hazard framework extended in two directions. First, after effort provision, the agent is free to leave and pursue some ex-post outside option. Second, the value of this outside option is increasing in effort, and hence endogenous. Optimal contracts may entail properties such as inducing first-best effort and surplus, or non-responsiveness with respect to changes in verifiable parameters. Moreover, while always socially inefficient, separation might occur in equilibrium. Except for the latter, these findings are robust to renegotiation. When the outside option is exogenous instead, the standard results obtain.

Suggested Citation

  • Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2010. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent Is Free to Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 5027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5027
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079-1109.
    2. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Siow, Aloysius, 1995. "Up-or-Out Rules in the Market for Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 709-735, October.
    3. Hans K. Hvide & Eirik Gaard Kristiansen, 2012. "Management of Knowledge Workers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 815-838.
    4. Rasul, Imran & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2010. "The role of the agent's outside options in principal-agent relationships," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 781-788, March.
    5. Kräkel, Matthias & Sliwka, Dirk, 2006. "Should You Allow Your Agent to Become Your Competitor? On Non-Compete Agreements in Employment Contracts," IZA Discussion Papers 2054, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1995. "Start-ups, Spin-offs, and Internal Projects," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 362-378, October.
    7. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    moral hazard; limited commitment; ex-post outside option; limited liability;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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