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The Risk and Incentives Trade-off in the Presence of Heterogeneous Man agers

  • Wright, Donald J.

Agency theory predicts a negative relationship between risk and incentives, yet recent empirical evidence has not consistently found such a relationship. In fact, some researchers have found a positive relationship. By introducing competition for heterogeneous managers, who differ in their degrees of risk aversion, into a standard agency model, this paper demonstrates that a negative or positive relationship is theoretically possible. Which arises depends on the relative risk aversion parameters of the managers and the absolute and relative riskiness of the environments.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/7706
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Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/7706
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  2. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-99, December.
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