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Contracting for Information under Imperfect Commitment

Vijay Krishna and John Morgan

Microeconomics from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Organizational theory suggests that authority should lie in the hands of those with information, yet the power to transfer authority is rarely absolute in practice. We investigate the validity and application of this advice in a model of optimal contracting between an uninformed principal and informed agent where the principal's commitment power is imperfect. We show that while full alignment of interests combined with delegation of authority is feasible, it is never optimal. The optimal contract is 'bang-bang'---in one region of the state space, full alignment takes place, in the other, no alignment takes place. We then compare these contracts to those in which the principal has full commitment power as well as to several 'informal' institutional arrangements.

Keywords: Imperfect commitment; optimal contracting; delegation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2005-04-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 38
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Contracting for information under imperfect commitment (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Contracting for Information under Imperfect Commitment (2004) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0504006

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