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Relational Incentive Contracts with Productivity Shocks

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  • James Malcomson

Abstract

This paper extends Levin’s (2003) relational contract model by having not only the agent’s cost of effort (agent’s type), but also the value of that effort to the principal (principal’s type) subject to i.i.d. shocks. When optimal effort is fully pooled across agent types for multiple principal types, it is also pooled across those principal types. When optimal effort separates some agent types for multiple principal types, efforts of those agent types may be separated across principal types. But then, somewhat perversely, some agent type’s effort is decreasing in the principal’s value of effort. When agent type is uniformly distributed, that applies to agent types with lower effort cost, so reducing the difference in effort between low and high effort cost types. This result extends to the principal’s type being observed only by the principal if the marginal cost of effort to the agent is sufficiently convex.

Suggested Citation

  • James Malcomson, 2012. "Relational Incentive Contracts with Productivity Shocks," Economics Series Working Papers 634, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:634
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/12469/oxford-discussion-paper-634-rev.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
    2. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-396, March.
    3. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
    4. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2007. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, And Price Rigidity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 483-515, May.
    5. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    6. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
    7. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
    8. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1989. "The Economics of Uncertainty and Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121360, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Holger Herz & Armin Schmutzler & André Volk, 2016. "Cooperation and Mistrust in Relational Contracts," ECON - Working Papers 233, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Matthias Fahn & Nicolas Klein, 2017. "Relational Contracts with Private Information on the Future Value of the Relationship: The Upside of Implicit Downsizing Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6590, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Bergman, Mats A. & Johansson, Per & Lundberg, Sofia & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2016. "Privatization and quality: Evidence from elderly care in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 109-119.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relational incentive contracts; shocks; principal types; agent types;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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