Incentives in optimally sized teams for projects with uncertain returns

Abstract

This paper analyzes a principal-agent model with three risk-averse players to investigate incentive provision and optimal team size in a setting with uncertain productivity and team synergies. A principal hires a team of workers and a manager to supervise the team. Workers provide productive effort, whereas the manager exerts effort to reduce measurement noise and productivity risk. We find that moral hazard is a limiting factor for team size and that the risk from uncertain productivity leads to smaller optimal teams, which stands in contrast to previous literature. Furthermore, we show that the manager’s and workers’ compensation increases with team size and that the pay differential between them is higher for larger teams. Our analysis demonstrates that the interdependency between team size and incentive provision makes it essential to coordinate the choice of these design variables.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.