Subjective ambiguity and moral hazard in a principal-agent model
It is suggested that individual behavior under ambiguity, or knightian uncertainty, may represent an alternative explanation for contractual incompleteness with respect to the traditional approach in terms of transactions costs. This paper aims at showing that the introduction of ambiguity in the economic analysis of contracts may be very fruitful. In particular, we analyze how ambiguity affects the optimal compensation scheme in a principal-agent framework, where the principal cannot observe the agentâ€™s effort and, contrary to standard assumptions, is ambiguityaverse. Also, our model makes it possible to generalize the Mukerji (1998) approach to contractual incompleteness. In fact, it shows that incomplete contracts are costly and that, before reaching the conclusion that ambiguity leads to contractual incompleteness, their costs should be compared with those of complete contracts, other things being equal.
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- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
- Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 1999.
"E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox,"
Theory and Decision,
Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 107-138, April.
- Eichberger, J. & Kelsey, D., 1996. "E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox," Discussion Papers 96-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-1231, December.
- Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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