IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sef/csefwp/201.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sorting the Good Guys from Bad: On the Optimality of Deterministic Audit with Ex-Ante Information Acquisition

Author

Abstract

In a costly state verification model under commitment the principal may acquire a costly public and imperfectly revealing signal before or after contracting. If the project remains profitable after all signal realisations, optimally the signal is collected, if at all, after contracting, and it may be acquired randomly or deterministically. Moreover, audit is deterministic and targeted on some signal-state combinations. The paper provides a detailed characterisation of the optimal contract and performs a comparative static analysis of signal acquisition strategy and payoffs with respect to enforcement costs and informativeness of the signal. We explore robustness of the results, including commitment issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Annamaria Menichini & Peter Simmons, 2008. "Sorting the Good Guys from Bad: On the Optimality of Deterministic Audit with Ex-Ante Information Acquisition," CSEF Working Papers 201, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 27 Oct 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:201
    Note: A previous version has been circulated under the title “The Strategic and Social Power of Signal Acquisition".
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.csef.it/WP/wp201.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hans Hvide & Tore Leite, 2010. "Optimal debt contracts under costly enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(1), pages 149-165, July.
    2. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1992. "Gathering Information before Signing a Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 566-578, June.
    3. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    4. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    5. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Strategic Information Gathering before a Contract Is Offered," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-200, July.
    6. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1994. "Gathering information before the contract is offered: The case with two states of nature," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 675-682, April.
    7. Fahad Khalil, 1997. "Auditing Without Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 629-640, Winter.
    8. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 174-193, November.
    9. Mathias Dewatripont, 1988. "Commitment Through Renegotiation-Proof Contracts with Third Parties," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 377-390.
    10. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 2002. "Auditing with Signals," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(273), pages 1-20, February.
    11. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    12. Guillaume Carlier & Ludovic Renou, 2005. "A costly state verification model with diversity of opinions," Post-Print hal-00404932, HAL.
    13. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
    14. Alberto Bennardo, 2008. "Information Gathering, Disclosure and Contracting in Competitive Markets," CSEF Working Papers 190, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    15. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
    16. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
    17. Williamson, Stephen D., 1986. "Costly monitoring, financial intermediation, and equilibrium credit rationing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-179, September.
    18. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2005. "Optimal multilateral contracts," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Dionysius Glycopantis & Nicholas C. Yannelis (ed.), Differential Information Economies, pages 319-340, Springer.
    19. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal: The Case of Private Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 379-409, March.
    20. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-760, October.
    21. Menichini Anna Maria C. & Simmons Peter J., 2006. "Liars and Inspectors: Optimal Financial Contracts When Monitoring is Non-Observable," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19, June.
    22. Parkash Chander & Louis L. Wilde, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 165-183.
    23. Khalil, Fahad & Parigi, Bruno M, 1998. "Loan Size as a Commitment Device," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 135-150, February.
    24. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1987. "Audit Classes and Tax Enforcement Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 229-233, May.
    25. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2000. "Optimal Contracts when Enforcement Is a Decision Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 119-134, January.
    26. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    27. Guillaume Carlier & Ludovic Renou, 2005. "A costly state verification model with diversity of opinions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(2), pages 497-504, February.
    28. Douglas Gale & Martin Hellwig, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 647-663.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2018. "Signaling with costly acquisition of signals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 141-150.
    2. Anna Maria C. Menichini & Peter J. Simmons, 2017. "Efficient audits by pooling projects," Discussion Papers 17/19, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Peter J. Simmons & Anna Maria C. Menichini, 2022. "Efficient audits by pooling independent projects: Separation vs. conglomeration," Discussion Papers 22/06, Department of Economics, University of York.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Berger, Allen N. & Espinosa-Vega, Marco A. & Frame, W. Scott & Miller, Nathan H., 2011. "Why do borrowers pledge collateral? New empirical evidence on the role of asymmetric information," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 55-70, January.
    2. Hans Hvide & Tore Leite, 2010. "Optimal debt contracts under costly enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(1), pages 149-165, July.
    3. Nielsen, Carsten Krabbe, 2015. "The loan contract with costly state verification and subjective beliefs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 89-105.
    4. Eduardo Zilberman, 2016. "Audits or Distortions: The Optimal Scheme to Enforce Self-Employment Income Taxes," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(4), pages 511-544, August.
    5. Leandro Arozamena & Martin Besfamille & Pablo Sanguinetti, 2010. "Optimal taxes and penalties when the government cannot commit to its audit policy," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-10, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    6. Gaia Garino & Peter Simmons, 2006. "Costly State Verification with Varying Risk Preferences and Liability," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 71-110, February.
    7. Annamaria Menichini & Peter Simmons, 2001. "Are two investors better than one?," CSEF Working Papers 71, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    8. Bernhardt Dan, 2012. "Screening and Financial Contracting in the Face of Outside Competition," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-40, May.
    9. Angelo Baglioni & Luca Colombo, 2009. "Managers’ Compensation And Misreporting: A Costly State Verification Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 278-289, April.
    10. Zhixiong Zeng, 2013. "A theory of the non-neutrality of money with banking frictions and bank recapitalization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(2), pages 729-754, March.
    11. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 2003. "Enforcement, Regulation and Development," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(Supplemen), pages 193-211, September.
    12. Caffera, Marcelo & Dubra, Juan & Figueroa, Nicolás, 2018. "Mechanism design when players’ preferences and information coincide," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 56-61.
    13. Khalil, Fahad & Martimort, David & Parigi, Bruno, 2007. "Monitoring a common agent: Implications for financial contracting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 35-67, July.
    14. Gregory Phelan, 2017. "Correlated Default and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 72(3), pages 1253-1284, June.
    15. Kim, Doyoung, 2013. "Delegation of information verification," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 488-500.
    16. Antinolfi, Gaetano & Carli, Francesco, 2015. "Costly monitoring, dynamic incentives, and default," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 105-119.
    17. Josef Schosser & Jochen Wilhelm, 2018. "Costly state verification and truthtelling: a note on the theory of debt contracts," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(2), pages 129-139, October.
    18. M. Martin Boyer, 2004. "On the Use of Hierarchies to Complete Contracts when Players Have Limited Abilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-41, CIRANO.
    19. Davide IACOVONI & Alberto ZAZZARO, 2000. "Legal System Efficiency, Information Production, and Technological Choice: A Banking Model," Working Papers 129, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    20. Peter J. Simmons & Nongnuch Tantisantiwong, 2022. "The Socially Optimal Loan Auditing with Multiple Projects," Discussion Papers 22/07, Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contracts; auditing; ex-ante information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dr. Maria Carannante (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cssalit.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.