Optimal Contracting in Agency with Verifiable Ex Post Information

30 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2002

See all articles by Anke S. Kessler

Anke S. Kessler

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics; University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Christoph Lülfesmann

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Patrick W. Schmitz

University of Cologne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

The Paper studies a straightforward adverse selection problem in which an informative but imperfect signal on the agent's type becomes public ex post. The agent is protected by limited liability, which rules out unboundedly high penalties. Analysing the consequences of the additional information and the corresponding extension of the space of feasible contracts, the following conclusions emerge. First, the qualitative effects of the signal can be unambiguously tied to the nature of the underlying problem (e.g., whether the agent is in a 'buyer' or a 'seller' position). Second, the joint surplus of the relationship may well fall, i.e., the distortions due to informational asymmetries can become more pronounced although more information is now available. Finally, the agent may benefit from releasing additional signals because of an associated increase in expected informational rents.

Keywords: Limited liability, ex post information, adverse selection

JEL Classification: D82

Suggested Citation

Kessler, Anke S. and Lülfesmann, Christoph and Schmitz, Patrick W., Optimal Contracting in Agency with Verifiable Ex Post Information (June 2002). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3428. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=323381

Anke S. Kessler (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
604-291-3443 (Phone)
604-291-5944 (Fax)

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
D-53113 Bonn
Germany
+49 228 739 246 (Phone)
+49 228 739 221 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wipol.uni-bonn.de/~kessler/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Christoph Lülfesmann

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
D-53113 Bonn
Germany
+49 228 737 939 (Phone)
+49 228 739 239 (Fax)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Patrick W. Schmitz

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://schmitz.uni-koeln.de/index.php?s=mitarbeiter&t=schmitz

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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