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Delegation, Risk, and Project Scope

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This paper studies a partial-contracting model where an agent may provide effort to increase a project's scope before some later (operative) decisions have to be taken. Consistent with existing empirical evidence, we find a positive relationship between exogenous risk and delegation. That is, only if the exogenous risk is sufficiently large may the risk-neutral principal prefer to delegate authority over decisions to the risk-averse agent. Intuitively, for incentive reasons, the principal may optimally want to allow the agent to reduce his risk exposure. Nevertheless, even endogenous risk may be higher when the risk-averse agent has control.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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