Theoretical Economics, Volume 18, Number 4 ( 2023)

Theoretical Economics 18 (2023), 1623–1663

Robust contracting under double moral hazard

Gabriel Carroll, Lukas Bolte


We study contracting when both principal and agent have to exert noncontractible effort for production to take place. An analyst is uncertain about what actions are available and evaluates a contract by the expected payoffs it guarantees to each party in spite of the surrounding uncertainty. Both parties are risk-neutral; there is no limited liability. Linear contracts, which leave the agent with a constant share of output in exchange for a fixed fee, are optimal. This result holds both in a preliminary version of the model, where the principal only chooses to supply or not supply an input, and in several variants of a more general version, where the principal may have multiple choices of input. The model thus generates nontrivial linear sharing rules without relying on either limited liability or risk aversion.

Keywords: Uncertainty, asymmetric information, principal-agent model, linear contracts, double-sided moral hazard, robustness

JEL classification: D81, D82, D86

Full Text:  PRINT  VIEW