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Repeated Interaction and the Revelation of the Monitor's Type: A Principal-Monitor-Agent Problem

  • Osório Costa, Antonio Miguel

This paper studies a dynamic principal-monitor-agent relation where a strategic principal delegates the task of monitoring the effort of a strategic agent to a third party. The latter we call the monitor, whose type is initially unknown. Through repeated interaction the agent might learn his type. We show that this process damages the principal's payoffs. Compensation is assumed exogenous, limiting to a great extent the provision of incentives. We go around this difficulty by introducing costly replacement strategies, i.e. the principal replaces the monitor, thus disrupting the agent's learning. We found that even when replacement costs are null, if the revealed monitor is strictly preferred by both parties, there is a loss in efficiency due to the impossibility of bene…tting from it. Nonetheless, these strategies can partially recover the principal's losses. Additionally, we establish upper and lower bounds on the payoffs that the principal and the agent can achieve. Finally we characterize the equilibrium strategies under public and private monitoring (with communication) for different cost and impatience levels.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/151619
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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/151619.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/151619
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