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Performance Measurement in Multi-Task Agencies

  • Thiele, Veikko

This paper analyzes a multi-task agency model with a risk-neutral and financially constrained agent. The agent's performance evaluation is thereby incongruent, i.e. it does not perfectly reflect the relative contribution of the agent's multi-dimensional effort to firm's profit. This paper elaborates on the improvement of the agent's performance evaluation through the costly acquisition of additional performance measures aimed at inducing the agent to implement a more efficient effort allocation across tasks. It contrasts two alternatives for the principal: (i) to centrally invest in the information acquisition; or (ii), to delegate this task to a supervisor. This paper demonstrates that the principal generally favors delegation for a sufficiently incongruent measurement of the agent's performance, and a centralized investment, otherwise.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2469/1/MPRA_paper_2469.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2469.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2469
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  1. George Baker, 2002. "Distortion and Risk in Optimal Incentive Contracts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 728-751.
  2. 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.
  3. Paul Oyer, 1998. "Fiscal Year Ends And Nonlinear Incentive Contracts: The Effect On Business Seasonality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 149-185, February.
  4. Wendelin Schnedler, 2003. "Task Difficulty, Performance Measure Characteristics, and the Trade-Off between Insurance and Well-Allocated Effort," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse7_2003, University of Bonn, Germany, revised May 2006.
  5. Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-01, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  6. 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.
  7. Villadsen, Bente, 1995. "Communication and delegation in collusive agencies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 315-344, April.
  8. Robert Gibbons, 1998. "Incentives in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 6695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  10. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  11. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  12. Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993. "Favoritism in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  14. Brickley, James A. & Zimmerman, Jerold L., 2001. "Changing incentives in a multitask environment: evidence from a top-tier business school," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 367-396, December.
  15. Pitchford, Rohan, 1998. "Moral hazard and limited liability: The real effects of contract bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 251-259, November.
  16. Son Ku Kim, 1997. "Limited Liability and Bonus Contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 899-913, December.
  17. George Baker, 2000. "The Use of Performance Measures in Incentive Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 415-420, May.
  18. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
  19. Lambert, Richard A., 2001. "Contracting theory and accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 3-87, December.
  20. Park, Eun-Soo, 1995. "Incentive Contracting under Limited Liability," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 477-90, Fall.
  21. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  22. Thiele, Veikko, 2007. "Task-Specific Abilities in Multi-Task Agency Relations," MPRA Paper 2470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Gibbs, Michael & Merchant, Kenneth A. & Van der Stede, Wim A. & Vargus, Mark A., 2004. "Performance Measure Properties and Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 1356, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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