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Team Incentives and Reference-Dependent Preferences

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  • Kohei Daido

    () (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)

  • Takeshi Murooka

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

This paper examines a multi-agent moral hazard model in which agents have expectation-based reference-dependent preferences `a la K˝oszegi and Rabin (2006, 2007). The agents’ utilities depend not only on their realized outcomes but also on the comparisons of their realized outcomes with their reference outcomes. Due to loss aversion, the agents have a first-order aversion to wage uncertainty. Thus, reducing their expected losses by partially compensating for their failure may be beneficial for the principal. When the agent is loss averse and the project is hard to achieve, the optimal contract is based on team incentives which exhibit either joint performance evaluation or relative performance evaluation. Our results provide a new insight: team incentives serve as a loss-sharing device among agents. This model can explain the empirical puzzle of why firms often pay a bonus to low-performance employees as well as high-performance employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohei Daido & Takeshi Murooka, 2011. "Team Incentives and Reference-Dependent Preferences," Discussion Paper Series 70, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:kgu:wpaper:70
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2017. "De-targeting: Advertising an assortment of products to loss-averse consumers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 103-124.
    2. Antonio Rosato, 2016. "Selling substitute goods to loss-averse consumers: limited availability, bargains, and rip-offs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 709-733, August.
    3. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2015. "Desert and inequity aversion in teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 42-54.
    4. Marchegiani, Lucia & Reggiani, Tommaso & Rizzolli, Matteo, 2016. "Loss averse agents and lenient supervisors in performance appraisal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 183-197.
    5. Simon Dato & Andreas Grunewald & Daniel Müller, 2015. "Expectation-Based Loss Aversion and Strategic Interaction," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse02_2015, University of Bonn, Germany.
    6. Dato, Simon & Müller, Daniel & Grunewald, Andreas, 2015. "Expectation-Based Loss Aversion and Strategic Interaction," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112947, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Daido, Kohei & Morita, Kimiyuki & Murooka, Takeshi & Ogawa, Hiromasa, 2013. "Task assignment under agent loss aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 35-38.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Moral Hazard; Team Incentives; Reference-Dependent Preferences; Loss Aversion; Joint Performance; Evaluation; Relative Performance Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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