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Strategic Framing in Contracts

Author

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  • K. Hilken
  • K.J.M. De Jaegher
  • M. Jegers

Abstract

We provide a hidden-action principal-agent model where the agent has referencedependent preferences. The loss-averse agent considers the base wage as reference point, and bonuses and/or penalties as gains and losses, respectively. When choosing optimal payments, the principal strategically sets the base wage, knowing that this determines the agent's reference point. We consider two variants of the model. In a first variant, the agent's reservation utility is not reference-dependent. We show that it is always optimal in this case for the principal to employ bonuses. In a second variant, the reservation utility is reference-dependent and the principal may use penalties.

Suggested Citation

  • K. Hilken & K.J.M. De Jaegher & M. Jegers, 2013. "Strategic Framing in Contracts," Working Papers 13-04, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1304
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. de Quidt, Jonathan, 2014. "Your loss is my gain: a recruitment experiment with framed incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58208, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. de Quidt, Jonathan, 2014. "Your loss is my gain: a recruitment experiment with framed incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58208, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. K. Hilken & S. Rosenkranz & K.J.M. De Jaegher & M. Jegers, 2013. "Reference Points, Performance and Ability: A Real Effort Experiment on Framed Incentive Schemes," Working Papers 13-15, Utrecht School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strategic Framing; Reference-Dependent Preferences; Principal-Agent Theory; Optimal Payment Schemes; Employment Contracts;

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