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Intertemporal incentives under loss aversion

Rosario Macera

Journal of Economic Theory, 2018, vol. 178, issue C, 551-594

Abstract: This paper studies the intertemporal allocation of incentives in a repeated moral hazard model where the loss averse agent experiences today utility from changes in their expectations about present and future wages and effort. In contrast to the standard prediction, under mild restrictions over the utility function, uncertainty is fully deferred into future payments allowing the principal to pay fixed wages. Although the intertemporal allocation of incentives is nonstandard, the optimal contract is well behaved as essential features of the contract with classical preferences—no rents to the agent, conditions to achieve first-best cost and non-optimality of ex-post random contracts—still hold.

Keywords: Expectation-based reference-dependent preferences; Loss aversion; Dynamic moral hazard (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D86 D90 J33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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