On the optimal use of loose monitoring in agencies

On the optimal use of loose monitoring in agencies We study the governance implications of firms being privately informed of their potential productivity before contracting with an agent to supply unobservable effort. We show that it can be optimal for high potential firms to have “loose monitoring” in the sense that the monitoring system is less perfect than what is implied by a standard agency model a la Holmstrom (The Bell J Econ 10:74–91, 1979). Loose monitoring is used to achieve separation among different types of firms such that firms with low potential do not have incentives to imitate contracts offered by high potential firms. Our findings imply that although loose monitoring may be a symptom of firms squandering scarce resources provided by investors, it can also arise as an optimal contracting arrangement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

On the optimal use of loose monitoring in agencies

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Business and Management; Accounting/Auditing; Corporate Finance; Public Finance
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-011-9142-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We study the governance implications of firms being privately informed of their potential productivity before contracting with an agent to supply unobservable effort. We show that it can be optimal for high potential firms to have “loose monitoring” in the sense that the monitoring system is less perfect than what is implied by a standard agency model a la Holmstrom (The Bell J Econ 10:74–91, 1979). Loose monitoring is used to achieve separation among different types of firms such that firms with low potential do not have incentives to imitate contracts offered by high potential firms. Our findings imply that although loose monitoring may be a symptom of firms squandering scarce resources provided by investors, it can also arise as an optimal contracting arrangement.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 19, 2011

References

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