American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 2 (April 2011)


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Article Citation

Bonatti, Alessandro, and Johannes Hörner. 2011. "Collaborating." American Economic Review, 101(2): 632-63.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.2.632


This paper examines moral hazard in teams over time. Agents are collectively engaged in a project whose duration and outcome are uncertain, and their individual efforts are unobserved. Free-riding leads not only to a reduction in effort, but also to procrastination. Collaboration among agents dwindles over time, but does not cease as long as the project has not succeeded. In addition, the delay until the project succeeds, if it ever does, increases with the number of agents. We show why deadlines, but not necessarily better monitoring, help to mitigate moral hazard. (JEL D81, D82, D83)

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Bonatti, Alessandro (MIT)
Hörner, Johannes (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief

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