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Incentive Design and Mis-Allocated Effort

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  • Schnedler, Wendelin

Abstract

Incentives often distort behavior: they induce agents to exert effort but this effort is not employed optimally. This paper proposes a theory of incentive design allowing for such distorted behavior. At the heart of the theory is a trade-off between getting the agent to exert effort and ensuring that this effort is used well. The theory covers various moral-hazard models, ranging from traditional single-task to multi-task models. It also provides -for the first time- a formalization and proofs for various widely-spread perceived wisdoms about incentive design and distorted behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnedler, Wendelin, 2013. "Incentive Design and Mis-Allocated Effort," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79775, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79775
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/79775/1/VfS_2013_pid_439.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    2. Srikant Datar & Susan Cohen Kulp & Richard A. Lambert, 2001. "Balancing Performance Measures," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 75-92, June.
    3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    4. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    5. Wendelin Schnedler, 2008. "When Is It Foolish to Reward for A While Benefiting from B?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 595-619, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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