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Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal–Agent Models

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  • Strausz, Roland

Abstract

This paper shows that, contrary to what is generally believed, decreasing concavity of the agent’s utility function with respect to the screening variable is not sufficient to ensure that stochastic mechanisms are suboptimal. The paper demonstrates, however, that they are suboptimal whenever the optimal deterministic mechanism exhibits no bunching. This is the case for most applications of the theory and therefore validates the literature’s usual focus on deterministic mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Strausz, Roland, 2004. "Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal–Agent Models," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 26, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:26
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13522/1/26.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
    3. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Muller & Philipp Weinschenk, 2010. "Binary Payment Schemes: Moral Hazard and Loss Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2451-2477, December.
    2. Juan Ortner & Sylvain Chassang, 2014. "Making Collusion Hard: Asymmetric Information as a Counter-Corruption Measure," Working Papers 064-2014, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    3. Zhou, Jun, 2010. "Jackpot Justice: The Value of Inefficient Litigation," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 346, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    principal-agent theory; mechanism design; deterministic mechanisms; randomization; bunching.;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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