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Legitimacy of Control

  • Schnedler, Wendelin

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Vadovic, Radovan

    ()

    (ITAM)

What is the motivational effect of imposing a minimum effort requirement? Agents may no longer exert voluntary effort but merely meet the requirement. Here, we examine how such hidden costs of control change when control is considered legitimate. We study a principal-agent model where control signals the expectations of the principal and the agent meets these expectations because he is guilt-averse. We conjecture that control is more likely to be considered legitimate (i) if it is not exclusively aimed at a specific agent or (ii) if it protects the endowment of the principal. Given the conjecture, the model predicts that hidden costs are lower when one of the two conditions is met. We experimentally test these predictions and find them confirmed.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 07-61.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 05 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:07-61
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  2. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, . "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Guido Friebel & Wendelin Schnedler, 2007. "Team Governance: Empowerment or Hierarchical Control," Working Papers 0457, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2007.
  5. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
  6. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  7. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
  8. Dirk Sliwka, 2003. "On the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2003, University of Bonn, Germany.
  9. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  10. Armin Falk & Michael Kosfeld, . "The Hidden Costs of Control," IEW - Working Papers 250, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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