Setting Efficient Incentives for Agricultural Research: Lessons from Principal-Agent Theory
Journal or Book Title
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
First Page or Article ID Number
A conceptual analysis of important issues in the organization and management of academic research is presented. Principal-agent theory is applied to derive optimal compensation schemes for scientists when they differ in ability, risk aversion, cost of effort, and reservation utility, and to show the optimal trade-off between institutional risk and scientists' abilities. Implications for an efficient organization of research are derived, including how scientists' incentives should be structured to elicit optimal research efforts and direction, whether research direction should be centralized or decentralized, and whether the organization of research should be through external competitive grantsor program and institutional funding.
Huffman, Wallace E. and Just, Richard E., "Setting Efficient Incentives for Agricultural Research: Lessons from Principal-Agent Theory" (2000). Economics Publications. 391.