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: On the Notion of the First Best in Standard Hidden Action Problems

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Ewerhart
  • Christoph Nitzsche

Abstract

It is well known that ex-ante randomization can improve upon second best contracts in principal-agent problems. In this note, we show that even the �rst{best can be dominated by a random contract. Our example is cast in a standard textbook set-up with two e�ort levels and two states of nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Ewerhart & Christoph Nitzsche, "undated". ": On the Notion of the First Best in Standard Hidden Action Problems," IEW - Working Papers 229, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:229
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp229.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frøystein Gjesdal, 1982. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 373-390.
    2. Richard Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 344-362, Autumn.
    3. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-139, May.
    4. Roland Strausz, 2001. "Mitigating Non-Contractability with Interim Randomization," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(2), pages 231-231, June.
    5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Kosfeld, Michael, 2005. "Neuroeconomic Foundations of Trust and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 1641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Tania Singer & Ernst Fehr, 2005. "The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 340-345, May.
    3. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, "undated". "The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wages," IEW - Working Papers 247, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hidden action; �rst{best; ex-ante randomization;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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