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Transferable Control

Aghion, P.; Dewatripont, M.; Rey, P.; (2004) Transferable Control. Journal of the European Economic Association , 2 (1) pp. 115-138. 10.1162/154247604323015508. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, we introduce the notion of transferable control, defined as a situation where one party (the principal, say) can transfer control to another party (the agent) but cannot commit herself to do so. One theoretical foundation for this notion builds on the distinction between formal and real authority introduced by Aghion and Tirole, in which the actual exercise of authority may require noncontractible information, absent which formal control rights are vacuous. We use this notion to study the extent to which control transfers may allow an agent to reveal information regarding his ability or willingness to cooperate with the principal in the future. We show that the distinction between contractible and transferable control can drastically influence how learning takes place: with contractible control, information about the agent can often be acquired through revelation mechanisms that involve communication and message-contingent control allocations; in contrast, when control is transferable but not contractible, it can be optimal to transfer control unconditionally and learn instead from the way in which the agent exercises control.

Type: Article
Title: Transferable Control
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/154247604323015508
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/154247604323015508
Language: English
Additional information: © 2004 The MIT Press
Keywords: Information
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/17705
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