Journal Article

Strategic Delegation By Unobservable Incentive Contracts

Levent Koçkesen and Efe A. Ok

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 71, issue 2, pages 397-424
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0034-6527.00289
Strategic Delegation By Unobservable Incentive Contracts

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  • Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
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Many strategic interactions in the real world take place among delegates empowered to act on behalf of others. Although there may be a multitude of reasons why delegation arises in reality, one intriguing possibility is that it yields a strategic advantage to the delegating party. In the case where only one party has the option to delegate, we analyse the possibility that strategic delegation arises as an equilibrium outcome under completely unobservable incentive contracts within the class of two-person extensive form games. We show that delegation may arise solely due to strategic reasons in quite general economic environments even under unobservable contracts. Furthermore, under some reasonable restrictions on out-of-equilibrium beliefs and actions of the outside party, strategic delegation is shown to be the only equilibrium outcome.

Keywords: C78; D82

Journal Article.  15514 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Game Theory and Bargaining Theory ; Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainy

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