Learning, Accounting Information, and Contracting Dynamics

66 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2021 Last revised: 22 Aug 2022

See all articles by Seung Lee

Seung Lee

University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: August 1, 2022

Abstract

I develop a dynamic principal-agent model where short/long-term incentives and performance-based turnover are jointly used to motivate productive activity in a setting with learning. The agent controls underlying fundamentals and can manipulate earnings at the expense of future reversals. Long-term incentives are optimal due to the interaction between learning and the reversal of earnings manipulations. Positive manipulation becomes optimal as long-term incentives have vested and the agency approaches termination in order to reduce the probability of inefficient turnover. This paper shows how incentive dynamics and turnover decisions are shaped by learning and performance measurement. In doing so, it generates novel empirical predictions on the impact of learning and measurement on the duration of incentive pay, the relationship between contractual convexity and productive effort, and the use of implicit incentives over termination.

Keywords: Moral hazard, learning, performance measurement, long-term incentives, performance-vesting, turnover

JEL Classification: D83, D86, G34, M12, M41, M52

Suggested Citation

Lee, Seung, Learning, Accounting Information, and Contracting Dynamics (August 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3864597 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3864597

Seung Lee (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

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