IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zur/econwp/266.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Delegating performance evaluation

Author

Listed:
  • Igor Letina
  • Shuo Liu
  • Nick Netzer

Abstract

We study optimal incentive contracts with multiple agents when performance evaluation is delegated to a reviewer. The reviewer may be biased in favor of the agents, but the degree of bias is unknown to the principal. We show that a contest, which is a contract in which the principal determines a set of prizes to be allocated to the agents, is optimal. By using a contest, the principal can commit to sustaining incentives despite the reviewer's potential leniency bias. The optimal effort profile can be uniquely implemented by an all-pay auction with a cap. Our analysis has implications for applications as diverse as the design of worker compensation, the awarding of research grants, and the allocation of foreign aid.

Suggested Citation

  • Igor Letina & Shuo Liu & Nick Netzer, 2017. "Delegating performance evaluation," ECON - Working Papers 266, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:266
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/141281/12/econwp266.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Letina, Igor & Liu, Shuo & Netzer, Nick, 2020. "Delegating performance evaluation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 15(2), May.
    3. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    4. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2590-2615, October.
    5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2008. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 615-631, Springer.
    6. Bentley W. MacLeod, 2003. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 216-240, March.
    7. Alexander Frankel, 2014. "Aligned Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 66-83, January.
    8. Ron Siegel, 2009. "All-Pay Contests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(1), pages 71-92, January.
    9. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian L. Gale, 2008. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Kai A. Konrad & Arye L. Hillman (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 2, pages 337-345, Springer.
    10. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    11. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1997. "Collusion under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 875-912, July.
    12. Dilip Mookherjee, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 51(3), pages 433-446.
    13. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
    14. Kolotilin, Anton & Li, Hao & Li, Wei, 2013. "Optimal limited authority for principal," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2344-2382.
    15. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079-1109.
    16. Giebe, Thomas & Gürtler, Oliver, 2012. "Optimal contracts for lenient supervisors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 403-420.
    17. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 209-223, Springer.
    18. Helmut Bester & Daniel Krähmer, 2008. "Delegation and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 664-682, September.
    19. Ewerhart, Christian, 2017. "Revenue ranking of optimally biased contests: The case of two players," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 167-170.
    20. Goltsman, Maria & Hörner, Johannes & Pavlov, Gregory & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "Mediation, arbitration and negotiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1397-1420, July.
    21. Pei, Harry Di, 2015. "Communication with endogenous information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 132-149.
    22. Ernst Fehr & Holger Herz & Tom Wilkening, 2013. "The Lure of Authority: Motivation and Incentive Effects of Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1325-1359, June.
    23. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2008. "Contracting for information under imperfect commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 905-925, December.
    24. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    25. Kovác, Eugen & Mylovanov, Tymofiy, 2009. "Stochastic mechanisms in settings without monetary transfers: The regular case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1373-1395, July.
    26. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    27. Manuel Amador & Kyle Bagwell, 2013. "The Theory of Optimal Delegation With an Application to Tariff Caps," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1541-1599, July.
    28. Olszewski, Wojciech & Siegel, Ron, 2019. "Bid caps in large contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 101-112.
    29. Yingni Guo, 2016. "Dynamic Delegation of Experimentation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 1969-2008, August.
    30. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    31. Shuo Liu & Dimitri Migrow, 2019. "Designing organizations in volatile markets," ECON - Working Papers 319, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    32. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    33. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "Multilateral Contracting and the Employment Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(3), pages 1075-1103.
    34. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279.
    35. David Rahman, 2012. "But Who Will Monitor the Monitor?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2767-2797, October.
    36. Luis Corchón & Matthias Dahm, 2010. "Foundations for contest success functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 43(1), pages 81-98, April.
    37. Arieh Gavious & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2002. "Bid Costs and Endogenous Bid Caps," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 709-722, Winter.
    38. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-978, October.
    39. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    40. William Fuchs, 2015. "Subjective Evaluations: Discretionary Bonuses and Feedback Credibility," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 99-108, February.
    41. Björn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Holger Herz, 2014. "The Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2005-2039, November.
    42. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1983. "The Agent-Agents Problem: Payment by Relative Output," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-65, January.
    43. Roland Strausz, 1997. "Delegation of Monitoring in a Principal-Agent Relationship," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 64(3), pages 337-357.
    44. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    45. James A. Fairburn & James M. Malcomson, 2001. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 68(1), pages 45-66.
    46. Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2006. "Subjective Performance Indicators and Discretionary Bonus Pools," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 585-618, June.
    47. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    48. Kellner, Christian, 2015. "Tournaments as a response to ambiguity aversion in incentive contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 627-655.
    49. Ivanov, Maxim, 2010. "Informational control and organizational design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 721-751, March.
    50. repec:ner:ucllon:http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/17678/ is not listed on IDEAS
    51. Chakraborty, Archishman & Harbaugh, Rick, 2007. "Comparative cheap talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 70-94, January.
      • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2004. "Comparative Cheap Talk," Working Papers 2004-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    52. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
    53. Johannes Berger & Christine Harbring & Dirk Sliwka, 2013. "Performance Appraisals and the Impact of Forced Distribution--An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 54-68, June.
    54. Breuer, Kathrin & Nieken, Petra & Sliwka, Dirk, 2010. "Social Ties and Subjective Performance Evaluations: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 4913, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    55. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
    56. Avinash Dixit, 2008. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman & Kai A. Konrad (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 1, pages 431-438, Springer.
    57. Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
    58. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
    59. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Letina, Igor & Liu, Shuo & Netzer, Nick, 2023. "Optimal contest design: Tuning the heat," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
    2. Matthias Lang, 2023. "Stochastic contracts and subjective evaluations," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 54(1), pages 104-134, March.
    3. Shuo Liu & Dimitri Migrow, 2019. "Designing organizations in volatile markets," ECON - Working Papers 319, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Letina, Igor & Liu, Shuo & Netzer, Nick, 2020. "Delegating performance evaluation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 15(2), May.
    5. Drugov, Mikhail & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2020. "Tournament rewards and heavy tails," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    6. Tapas Kundu & Tore Nilssen, 2020. "Delegation of Regulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 445-482, September.
    7. Oleg Muratov, 2021. "All-Pay Auctions with Reserve Price and Bid Cap," Diskussionsschriften dp2106, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    8. Ockenfels, Axel & Sliwka, Dirk & Werner, Peter, 2024. "Multi-Rater Performance Evaluations and Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 16812, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Mengxi Zhang, 2023. "Optimal Contests with Incomplete Information and Convex Effort Costs," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2023_156v2, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    10. Xinhao He & Jin Li & Zhaoneng Yuan, 2022. "Optimal Subjective Contracting with Revision," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(8), pages 6346-6354, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Inga Deimen & Dezső Szalay, 2019. "Delegated Expertise, Authority, and Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1349-1374, April.
    2. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    3. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve‐González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2023. "Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 89(3), pages 924-974, January.
    4. Blume, Andreas & Deimen, Inga & Inoue, Sean, 2022. "Incomplete contracts versus communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    5. Kolotilin, Anton & Li, Hongyi, 2021. "Relational communication," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 16(4), November.
    6. Ambrus, Attila & Egorov, Georgy, 2017. "Delegation and nonmonetary incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 101-135.
    7. Letina, Igor & Liu, Shuo & Netzer, Nick, 2023. "Optimal contest design: Tuning the heat," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
    8. Kolotilin, Anton & Li, Hao & Li, Wei, 2013. "Optimal limited authority for principal," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2344-2382.
    9. Shuo Liu & Dimitri Migrow, 2019. "Designing organizations in volatile markets," ECON - Working Papers 319, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Anton Kolotilin & Andriy Zapechelnyuk, 2018. "Persuasion Meets Delegation," Discussion Papers 2018-06, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    11. Krähmer, Daniel & Kováč, Eugen, 2016. "Optimal sequential delegation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 849-888.
    12. Fleckinger, Pierre & Martimort, David & Roux, Nicolas, 2023. "Should They Compete or Should They Cooperate? The View of Agency Theory," TSE Working Papers 23-1421, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jan 2024.
    13. Liu, Shuo & Migrow, Dimitri, 2022. "When does centralization undermine adaptation?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    14. De Chiara, Alessandro & Livio, Luca, 2017. "The threat of corruption and the optimal supervisory task," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 172-186.
    15. Ella Segev & Aner Sela, 2011. "Sequential All-Pay Auctions with Head Starts and Noisy Outputs," Working Papers 1106, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    16. Szalay, Dezső & Deimen, Inga, 2015. "Information, authority, and smooth communication in organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 10969, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Anton Kolotilin & Andriy Zapechelnyuk, 2018. "Persuasion Meets Delegation," Discussion Papers 2018-06, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    18. Koessler, Frédéric & Martimort, David, 2012. "Optimal delegation with multi-dimensional decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1850-1881.
    19. Ella Segev & Aner Sela, 2014. "Sequential all-pay auctions with head starts," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(4), pages 893-923, December.
    20. Lim, Wooyoung, 2012. "Selling authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 393-415.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Performance evaluation; delegation; optimality of contests;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:266. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Severin Oswald (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/seizhch.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.