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Monopolistic Screening under Learning By Doing


Gaertner, Dennis (2007). Monopolistic Screening under Learning By Doing. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 718, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper investigates the design of incentives in a dynamic adverse selection framework when agents’ production technologies display learning effects and agents’ rate of learning is private knowledge. In a simple two-period model with full commitment available to the principal, we show that whether learning effects are over- or under-exploited crucially depends on whether learning effects increase or decrease the principal’s uncertainty about agents’ costs of production. Hence, what drives the over- or underexploitation of learning effects is whether more efficient agents also learn faster (so costs diverge through learning effects) or whether it is the less efficient agents who learn faster (so costs converge). Furthermore, we show that if divergence in costs through learning effects is strong enough, learning effects will not be exploited at all, in a sense to be made precise.

This paper investigates the design of incentives in a dynamic adverse selection framework when agents’ production technologies display learning effects and agents’ rate of learning is private knowledge. In a simple two-period model with full commitment available to the principal, we show that whether learning effects are over- or under-exploited crucially depends on whether learning effects increase or decrease the principal’s uncertainty about agents’ costs of production. Hence, what drives the over- or underexploitation of learning effects is whether more efficient agents also learn faster (so costs diverge through learning effects) or whether it is the less efficient agents who learn faster (so costs converge). Furthermore, we show that if divergence in costs through learning effects is strong enough, learning effects will not be exploited at all, in a sense to be made precise.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:D82, L14, L43, L51, O31
Language:English
Date:December 2007
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52387

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