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Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives

Bengt Holmstrom () and Paul Milgrom ()

Econometrica, 1987, vol. 55, issue 2, 303-28

Abstract: The authors develop two themes in the theory of incentive schemes. First, one need not always use all of the information available in an optimal incentive contract. Accounting information, which aggregates performance over time, is sufficient for optimal compensation schemes in certain classes of environments. Second, optimal rules in a rich environment must work well in a range of circumstances and cannot, therefore, be complicated functions of the observed outcome. The authors illustrate these ideas in a particular model where the agent has a rich space of controls, showing that the unique optimal compensation scheme is a linear function of profits. Copyright 1987 by The Econometric Society.

Date: 1987
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