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Positive self-image and incentives in organizations

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  • Santos-Pinto, Luís

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of individuals’ mistaken beliefs of their abilities on incentives in organizations using the principal-agent model of moral hazard. The paper shows that if effort is observable, then an agent’s mistaken beliefs about own ability are always favorable to the principal. However, if effort is unobservable, then an agent’s mistaken beliefs about own ability can be either favorable or unfavorable to the principal. The paper provides conditions under which an agent’s over estimation about own ability is favorable to the principal when effort is unobservable. Finally, the paper shows that workers’ mistaken beliefs about their coworkers’ abilities make interdependent incentive schemes more attractive to firms than individualistic incentive schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2003. "Positive self-image and incentives in organizations," MPRA Paper 3141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Feb 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baker, George P & Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1988. " Compensation and Incentives: Practice vs. Theory," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 593-616, July.
    2. Menkhoff, Lukas & Schmidt, Ulrich & Brozynski, Torsten, 2006. "The impact of experience on risk taking, overconfidence, and herding of fund managers: Complementary survey evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1753-1766, October.
    3. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    4. Hvide, Hans K., 2002. "Pragmatic beliefs and overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 15-28, May.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-446.
    6. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    7. Fang, Hanming & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2005. "Morale hazard," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 749-777, May.
    8. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    9. Thomas Oberlechner & Carol Osler, 2009. "Overconfidence in Currency Markets," Working Papers 02, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    10. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Positive Self-Image; Incentives; Moral Hazard; Behavioral Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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