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Value of communication in agencies. (English) Zbl 0669.90002
Focusing on an agency model in which the agent receives private information prior to contracting, we analyze whether the principal benefits from offering the agent a menu of contracts. We show that, under certain conditions, the constraints imposed by the self-selection requirement are so restrictive that a menu of contracts has no value, i.e., the principal might as well offer a single contract based only on some jointly observed outcome. Conversely, we identify cases where a menu of contracts is valuable because it allows the principal to implement a more efficient incentive structure.

MSC:
91B06 Decision theory
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