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The interaction of explicit and implicit contracts: A signaling approach

  • Gürtler, Marc
  • Gürtler, Oliver

We analyze the interaction of explicit and implicit contracts in a model with selfish and fair principals. Fair principals are willing to honor implicit agreements, whereas selfish principals are not. Principals are privately informed about their types. We investigate a separating equilibrium in which principals reveal their type through the contract o er to the agent. If this equilibrium is played, explicit and implicit contracts are substitutes. Since the agent learns the principal's type, a selfish principal has to rely on explicit incentives. A fair principal, by contrast, can effectively induce implicit incentives and hence does not need to use explicit incentives. Interestingly, if a selfish principal can rely on more effective explicit incentives, a fair principal becomes more likely to be able to separate from the selfish type and, hence, to make better use of implicit incentives. In this sense, there is a strategic complementarity between explicit and implicit incentives.

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Paper provided by Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Finance in its series Working Papers with number IF38V1.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tbsifw:if38v1
Contact details of provider: Postal: Pockelsstr. 14, D-38106 Braunschweig
Web page: http://www.fiwi.tu-bs.de/

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  1. Monika Schnitzer, 1994. "The Interaction of Explicit and Implicit Contracts," Discussion Paper Serie A 452, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2005. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 187-207, 03.
  3. William S. Neilson & Jill Stowe, 2010. "Piece-Rate Contracts For Other-Regarding Workers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 575-586, 07.
  4. Giebe, Thomas & Gürtler, Oliver, 2012. "Optimal contracts for lenient supervisors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 403-420.
  5. James Jr., Harvey S., 2002. "The trust paradox: a survey of economic inquiries into the nature of trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 291-307, March.
  6. Englmaier, Florian & Achim Wambach, 2003. "Contracts and Inequity Aversion," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 74, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Kathryn E. Spier, 1992. "Incomplete Contracts and Signalling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 432-443, Autumn.
  8. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "Multilateral Contracting And The Employment Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1075-1103, August.
  9. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
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