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Title:An empirical analysis of risk, incentives and the delegation of worker authority PDF Logo
Authors:Devaro, Jed
Kurtulus, Fidan Ana
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Working Paper, University of Massachusetts, Department of Economics 2011-13
Abstract:We address four empirical questions in this paper. Is there empirical support for: 1) the risk-incentives tradeoff predicted by agency theory? 2) a positive relationship between authority and incentives? 3) a positive relationship between risk and authority? 4) the main testable implication of Prendergast’s model, namely that the risk coefficient in an incentives regression should become smaller (i.e. less positive or more negative) when delegation of worker authority is incorporated into the riskincentives regression model? Our empirical results support affirmative answers to all four questions, though in some cases the relevant parameters are estimated with low precision. Thus, our analysis contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence clarifying the relationship between risk and incentive pay and how managers optimally bundle incentive pay and the delegation of worker decision rights to cope with risk. In particular, we attempt to reconcile the mixed nature of the empirical literature concerning evidence for a riskincentives tradeoff by empirically addressing Prendergast’s extension of the standard principal-agent model.
Subjects:Agency Theory
Risk versus Incentives Tradeoff
Delegation of Worker Authority
Performance Pay
JEL:D21
D23
D81
M51
M52
M54
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts

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