IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Subjective Evaluation versus Public Information

  • Bester, Helmut
  • Münster, Johannes

This paper studies a principal-agent relation in which the principal's private information about the agent's effort choice is more accurate than a noisy public performance measure. For some contingencies the optimal contract has to specify ex post inefficiencies in the form of inefficient termination (firing the agent) or third-party payments (money burning). We show that money burning is the less efficient incentive device: it is used at most in addition to firing and only if the loss from termination is small. Under an optimal contract the agent's wage may depend only on the principal's report and not on the public signal. Nonetheless, public information is valuable as it facilitates truthful subjective evaluation by the principal.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 399.

in new window

Date of creation: 24 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:399
Contact details of provider: Postal: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-3405
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3510
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  2. Matthias Lang, 2014. "Communicating Subjective Evaluations," CESifo Working Paper Series 4830, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
  4. Bester, Helmut & Krähmer, Daniel, 2008. "Exit Options in Incomplete Contracts with Asymmetric Information," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 251, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. William Fuchs, 2005. "Contracting with Repeated Moral Hazard and Private Evaluations," Game Theory and Information 0511007, EconWPA.
  6. Josh Lerner & Ulrike Malmendier, 2010. "Contractibility and the Design of Research Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 214-46, March.
  7. Sherstyuk, Katerina, 2000. " Performance Standards and Incentive Pay in Agency Contracts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 725-36, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  11. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
  12. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On the Interplay of Hidden Action and Hidden Information in Simple Bilateral Trading Problems," MPRA Paper 12531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  14. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  15. Chwe, Michael Suk-Young, 1990. "Why Were Workers Whipped? Pain in a Principal-Agent Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1109-21, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:399. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tamilla Benkelberg)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.