Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Observability of information gathering in agency models

Hoppe, Eva I. (2013): Observability of information gathering in agency models.

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Abstract

We consider an adverse selection model in which the agent can gather private information before the principal offers the contract. There are two scenarios. In scenario I, information gathering is a hidden action, while in scenario II, the principal observes the agent's information gathering decision. We study how the two scenarios differ with respect to the agent's expected rent, the principal's expected profit, and the expected total surplus. In particular, it turns out that the principal may be better off when the agent's information gathering decision is a hidden action.

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