Managerial Compensations and Information Sharing under Moral Hazard: Is Transparency Good?
We study the effects of information sharing on optimal contracting in a vertical hierarchies model with moral hazard and effort externalities. The paper has three main objectives. First, we determine and compare the equilibrium contracts with and without communication. We identify how each principal relates her agent’s wage to the opponent’s performance when they share information about agents’ performances. It turns out that the type of effort externalities across organizations is the main determinant of the responsiveness of each agent’s reward to the opponent’s performance. Second, in order to throw novel light on the emergence of information sharing agreements, we characterize the equilibria of a non- cooperative game where principals first decide whether to share information and then offer contracts to their exclusive agents. We explore the implications of introducing certification costs and show that three types of equilibria may emerge depending on the nature and (relative) strength of effort externalities: principals bilaterally share information if agents’ effort choices exhibit strong complementarity; only the principal with stronger monitoring power discloses information in equilibrium for intermediate levels of effort’s complementarity; principals do not share information if efforts are substitutes and for low values of effort’s complementarity. Moreover, differently from the common agency framework studied in Maier and Ottaviani (2009), in our model a prisoner’s dilemma may occur when efforts are substitutes and certification costs are negligible: if a higher effort by one agent reduces the opponent’s marginal productivity of effort the equilibrium involves no communication although principals would jointly be better off by sharing information. Finally, the model also offers novel testable predictions on the impact of competition on the basic trade-off between risk and incentives, the effects of organizations’ asymmetries on information disclosure policies as well as on the link between corporate control and the power of incentives.
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