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Risk Attitudes and the Shift of Liability from the Principal to the Agent

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  • Privileggi, Fabio

    ()

  • Marchese, Carla

    ()

  • Cassone, Alberto

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the problem of illegal behavior within a principal-agent framework. The agent performs an illegal activity which benefits the principal, and can exert an effort that negatively affects the likelihood of detection of the violation.Two opposite legal regimes are considered: in the first, only the risk neutral principal is strictly liable; in the second, only the risk averse agent is The monetary sanction and the probability of detection function are the same in both cases. Our models shows that shifting the liability upon the risk averse agent reduces the principal net benefit, thus favoring deterrence of wrongdoing; however, it can also either increase or reduce the agent effort in cheating. For a specific model we are able to characterize cases in which a reduction in cheating prevails, and shifting the liability upon the agent has clear-cut beneficial effects on compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Privileggi, Fabio & Marchese, Carla & Cassone, Alberto, 1998. "Risk Attitudes and the Shift of Liability from the Principal to the Agent," POLIS Working Papers 1, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:1
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    File URL: http://polis.unipmn.it/pubbl/RePEc/uca/ucapdv/bribecde.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arlen, Jennifer, 1994. "The Potentially Perverse Effects of Corporate Criminal Liability," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 832-867, June.
    2. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1991. "Equilibrium Enforcement and Compliance in the Presence of Tax Practitioners," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 163-181, Spring.
    3. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cyrus Chu, C. Y. & Qian, Yingyi, 1995. "Vicarious liability under a negligence rule," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 305-322, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Privileggi, Fabio & Marchese, Carla & Cassone, Alberto, 2001. "Agent's liability versus principal's liability when attitudes toward risk differ," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 181-195, June.
    2. Bondonio, Daniele, 2001. "Evaluating Decentralized Policies: How to Compare the Performance of Economic Development Programs across Different Regions or States," POLIS Working Papers 16, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    3. Bissey, Marie-Edith & Ortona, Guido, 2002. "A simulative frame to study the integration of defectors in a cooperative setting," POLIS Working Papers 24, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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