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Loss Aversion, Stochastic Compensation, and Team Incentives

Listed author(s):
  • Kohei Daido

    ()

    (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)

  • Takeshi Murooka

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

We investigate moral-hazard problems with limited liability where agents have expectation-based reference-dependent preferences. We show that stochastic compensation for low performance can be optimal. Because of loss aversion, the agents have first-order risk aversion to wage uncertainty. This causes the agents to work harder when their low performance is stochastically compensated. We also examine team incentives for credibly employing such stochastic compensation. In an optimal contract, low- and high-performance agents are equally rewarded if most agents achieve high performance. Team incentives can be optimal even when there are only two agents and the degree of loss aversion is not large.

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File URL: http://192.218.163.163/RePEc/pdf/kgdp107.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 107.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:kgu:wpaper:107
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  1. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2015. "Desert and inequity aversion in teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 42-54.
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  5. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2009. "Fairness and desert in tournaments," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0903, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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  8. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-1268, September.
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  11. Bowman, David & Minehart, Deborah & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Loss aversion in a consumption-savings model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-178, February.
  12. Kohei Daido & Hideshi Itoh, 2007. "The Pygmalion and Galatea Effects: An Agency Model with Reference-Dependent Preferences and Applications to Self-Fulfilling Prophecy," Discussion Paper Series 35, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Sep 2007.
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  14. Lange, Andreas & Ratan, Anmol, 2010. "Multi-dimensional reference-dependent preferences in sealed-bid auctions - How (most) laboratory experiments differ from the field," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 634-645, March.
  15. Garvey, Gerald T. & Milbourn, Todd T., 2006. "Asymmetric benchmarking in compensation: Executives are rewarded for good luck but not penalized for bad," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 197-225, October.
  16. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
  17. Matthews, Steven A., 2001. "Renegotiating Moral Hazard Contracts under Limited Liability and Monotonicity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 1-29, March.
  18. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 46-82, February.
  19. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
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