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Author:Grochulski, Borys 

Working Paper
Market-based incentives

We study optimal incentives in a principal-agent problem in which the agent's outside option is determined endogenously in a competitive labor market. In equilibrium, strong performance increases the agent's market value. When this value becomes sufficiently high, the threat of the agent's quitting forces the principal to give the agent a raise. The prospect of obtaining this raise gives the agent an incentive to exert effort, which reduces the need for standard incentives, like bonuses. In fact, whenever the agent's option to quit is close to being "in the money," the market-induced ...
Working Paper , Paper 13-05

Working Paper
Optimal Incentive Contracts with Job Destruction Risk

We study the implications of job destruction risk for optimal incentives in a long-term contract with moral hazard. We extend the dynamic principal-agent model of Sannikov (2008) by adding an exogenous Poisson shock that makes the match between the firm and the agent permanently unproductive. In modeling job destruction as an exogenous Poisson shock, we follow the Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides search-and-matching literature. The optimal contract shows how job destruction risk is shared between the rm and the agent. Arrival of the job-destruction shock is always bad news for the rm but can be ...
Working Paper , Paper 17-11

Working Paper
Optimal wealth taxes with risky human capital

We study the structure of optimal wealth and labor income taxes in a Mirrlees economy in which the productivity of labor (i.e., skill) is private, stochastic, and endogenous. Individual agents' skills are determined by their level of human capital. Human capital is not publicly observable and the returns to human capital investment are subject to idiosyncratic shocks. Preferences are not assumed to be additively separable in consumption and human capital investment and, thus, the intertemporal marginal rates of substitution of consumption are private information. We characterize the optimal ...
Working Paper , Paper 05-13

Working Paper
Optimal Contracts with Reflection

In this paper, we show that whenever the agent's outside option is nonzero, the optimal contract in the continuous-time principal-agent model of Sannikov (2008) is reflective at the lower bound. This means the agent is never terminated or retired after poor performance. Instead, the agent is asked to put zero effort temporarily, which brings his continuation value up. The agent is then asked to resume effort, and the contract continues. We show that a nonzero agent's outside option arises endogenously if the agent is allowed to quit and find a new firm (after a random search time of finite ...
Working Paper , Paper 16-14

Understanding Market Failure in the 2007-08 Crisis

Did market failures cause the 2007-08 financial crisis? While economists have made substantial progress exploring this question, the answer remains unclear. The answer is important because financial regulation that does not address a specific market failure risks causing new inefficiencies and unintended consequences in the financial system and broader economy. To demonstrate how economic theory can be used to identify market failures and guide policy, this Economic Brief discusses a common market failure called a "pecuniary externality" and demonstrates the pitfalls of applying regulations ...
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Dec

Journal Article
Optimal Contracts for Housing Services Purchases

In this article, we study tradeoffs associated with homeownership and renting. We consider a model in which housing capital generates housing services, but also requires regular maintenance. A household wants to purchase a flow of housing services. Maintenance on the house providing this flow to the household can be performed by the household itself or by an outside property manager. We abstract from taxes or other government distortions. The household contracts with a bank/landlord that has funds sufficient to make a lumpy housing investment. We do not assume that the bank/landlord can ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 1Q , Pages 67-93

Removing Conflict of Interest for Agents of Homebuyers

In real estate transactions, sellers' agents have weak incentives to market homes sufficiently long to secure top prices for their clients. Buyers' agents, however, face completely backward incentives: They get paid more when their clients pay more for their homes. We discuss an a la carte compensation model for buyers' agents that eliminates this conflict of interest.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 23 , Issue 34

Journal Article
Optimal nonlinear income taxation with costly tax avoidance

Economic Quarterly , Volume 93 , Issue Win , Pages 77-109

Working Paper
Optimal Liquidity Regulation With Shadow Banking

We study the impact of shadow banking on optimal liquidity regulations in a Diamond-Dybvig maturity mismatch environment. A pecuniary externality arising out of the banks' access to private retrade renders competitive equilibrium inefficient. Shadow banking provides an outside option for banks, which adds a new constraint in the mechanism design problem that determines the optimal allocation. A tax on illiquid assets and a subsidy to the liquid asset similar to the payment of interest on reserves (IOR) constitute an optimal liquidity regulation policy in this economy. During expansions, i.e., ...
Working Paper , Paper 15-12

Journal Article
Limits to redistribution and intertemporal wedges : implications of Pareto optimality with private information

Numerous recent studies on macroeconomic policy--including monetary policy and tax policy--have incorporated private information in their models of the economy. In such models, characterization of Pareto-optimal allocations is an important step of analysis. In this article, we study Pareto optima in a simple model economy with heterogeneous agents. We characterize and compare all Pareto-optimal allocations both with and without private information. We also demonstrate the limits to redistribution and intertemporal distortions that arise as implications of Pareto optimality with private ...
Economic Quarterly , Volume 94 , Issue Spr , Pages 173-196




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