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The Moral Hazard of Budget-Breaking

Mukesh Eswaran () and Ashok Kotwal ()

RAND Journal of Economics, 1984, vol. 15, issue 4, 578-581

Abstract: It has recently been suggested in the agency literature that moral hazard in teams can be dealt with by introducing a third party who breaks the budget-balancing constraint, and that this facilitates the design of contracts that can sustain the Pareto optimum as a (perfect) Nash equilibrium. This note offers an explanation for why the use of budget-breaking schemes is not so widespread as that of active monitoring, despite the fact that such schemes would save the resources expended on supervision. The note demonstrates that allowing the budget to be broken introduces the potential for moral hazard on the part of the third party, which could render the proposed equilibrium incredible.

Date: 1984
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