Wealth Effects, Incentives and Productivity
REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS
Posted: 11 Dec 1996
Comparative static effects of varying the wealth level of risk averse agent in a moral hazard setting with limited liability constraints are investigated. There are two principal opposing effects of increasing wealth: the incentive effect, which allows stronger punishments for poor performance, thereby encouraging higher effort; and the preference effect, which reduces the agent's effort incentives owing to income effects in the demand for leisure. It is shown that optimal effort levels are initially constant, subsequently increasing and eventually decreasing in wealth. Hence agents with intermediate wealth levels are the most productive.
JEL Classification: D23, D45, D82, O12, Q15
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