Klaus M. Schmidt

Klaus M. Schmidt
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich | LMU · Department of Economics

About

107
Publications
29,404
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20,033
Citations
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August 1995 - present
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Position
  • Full Professor of Economics, Research Dean

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Open access (OA) publishing upends the traditional business model in scientific publishing by requiring authors instead of readers to pay for the publishing-related costs. In this paper, we aim to elicit the willingness to pay (WTP) of authors for open access publishing. We conduct two separate field studies with different methodological approaches...
Article
Analyzing the "Pay What You Want" business model for open access publishing.
Article
Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström were awarded the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for their fundamental contributions to contract theory. This article offers a short summary and discussion of their path-breaking work.
Article
We report on two experiments that identify non-monetary incentive effects of competition. As the number of competitors increases, monetary incentives to engage in cost reduction tend to decrease. We test the hypothesis that there are non-monetary incentive effects of competition going in the opposite direction. In the experiments we change the numb...
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Full-text available
Pay What You Want (PWYW) and Name Your Own Price (NYOP) are customer-driven pricing mechanisms that give customers (some) pricing power and that have been used in service industries with high fixed costs to price discriminate without setting a reference price. This paper describes buyer and seller data in a series of induced-value laboratory experi...
Article
Pay What You Want (PWYW) and Name Your Own Price (NYOP) are customer-driven pricing mechanisms that give customers (some) pricing power. Both have been used in service industries with high fixed costs to price discriminate without setting a reference price. Their participatory and innovative nature gives rise to promotional benefits that do not acc...
Article
This year Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for their fundamental contributions to contract theory. Their research paved the way towards a better understanding of the incentive effects and the optimal design of contracts.
Article
For the procurement of complex goods the early exchange of infor-mation is important to avoid costly renegotiation ex post. We show that this is achieved by bilateral negotiations but not by auctions. Negotiations strictly out-performs auctions if sellers are likely to have superior information about possible design improvements, if renegotiation i...
Article
Pay what you want (PWYW) can be an attractive marketing strategy to price discriminate between fair-minded and selfish customers, to fully penetrate a market without giving away the product for free, and to undercut competitors that use posted prices. We report on laboratory experiments that identify causal factors determining the willingness of bu...
Article
Employment contracts give a principal the authority to decide flexibly which task his agent should execute. However, there is a tradeoff, first pointed out by Simon (1951), between flexibility and employer moral hazard. An employment contract allows the principal to adjust the task quickly to the realization of the state of the world, but he may al...
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Full-text available
Employment contracts give a principal the authority to decide flexibly which task his agent should execute. However, there is a tradeoff, first pointed out by Simon (1951, Econometrica, 19, 293–302), between flexibility and employer moral hazard. An employment contract allows the principal to adjust the task quickly to the realization of the state...
Article
How does an ex-ante contract affect behavior in an ex-post renegotiation game? We address this question in a canonical buyer–seller relationship with renegotiation. Our paper provides causal experimental evidence that an initial contract has a highly significant and economically important impact on renegotiation behavior that goes beyond the effect...
Article
Employment contracts give a principal the authority to decide flexibly which task his agent should execute. However, there is a tradeoff, first pointed out by Simon (1951), between flexibility and employer moral hazard. An employment contract allows the principal to adjust the task quickly to the realization of the state of the world, but he may al...
Article
We propose a theory of inefficient renegotiation that is based on loss aversion. When two parties write a long-term contract that has to be renegotiated after the realization of the state of the world, they take the initial contract as a reference point to which they compare gains and losses of the renegotiated transaction. We show that loss aversi...
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Full-text available
In many cultures and industries gifts are given in order to influence the recipient, often at the expense of a third party. Examples include business gifts of firms and lobbyists. In a series of experiments, we show that, even without incentive or informational effects, small gifts strongly influence the recipient's behavior in favor of the gift gi...
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Several recent papers argue that contracts provide reference points that affect ex post behavior. We test this hypothesis in a canonical buyer-seller relationship with renegotiation. Our paper provides causal experimental evidence that an initial contract has a highly significant and economically important impact on renegotiation behavior that goes...
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Full-text available
In Bartling, Fehr and Schmidt (2012) we show theoretically and experimentally that it is optimal to grant discretion to workers if (i) discretion increases productivity, (ii) workers can be screened by past performance, (iii) some workers reciprocate high wages with high effort and (iv) employers pay high wages leaving rents to their workers. In th...
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High-performance work systems give workers more discretion, thereby increasing effort productivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for work attitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performance work systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion,...
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Full-text available
Gift giving is common practice in many cultures and industries. This is prob-lematic if the gift biases decisions of the receiver to the detriment of third par-ties. Examples include pharmaceutical companies affecting doctors' prescrip-tion choices, or lobbyists affecting politicians' behavior on behalf of their elec-torate. We show experimentally...
Article
This paper explores the consequences of cognitive dissonance, coupled with time-inconsistent preferences, in an intertemporal decision problem with two distinct goals: acting decisively on early information (vision) and adjusting flexibly to late information (flexibility). The decision maker considered here is capable of manipulating information to...
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Full-text available
In recent decades, many firms offered more discretion to their employees, often increasing the productivity of effort but also leaving more opportunities for shirking. These “high-performance work systems” are difficult to understand in terms of standard moral hazard models. We show experimentally that complementarities between high effort discreti...
Article
High-performance work systems give workers more discretion, thereby increasing effort productivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for work attitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performance work systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion,...
Article
In this paper we reply to Binmore and Shaked's criticism of the Fehr–Schmidt model of inequity aversion. We put the theory and their arguments into perspective and show that their criticism is not substantiated. Finally, we briefly comment on the main challenges for future research on social preferences.
Article
Economic experiments interact with economic theories in various ways. First of all they are used to test economic theories. However, they can neither confirm nor falsify them in a strict sense. They rather inform us about the range of applicability, the robustness and the predictive power of a theory. Furthermore, economic experiments discover and...
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Full-text available
The infamous Blackberry case brought new attention to so-called “patent trolls” and began the general association of trolls with “non-practicing” patent holders. This has had important legal consequences: Namely, patent holders have been denied injunctive relief because they did not practice the patents themselves. In this paper we analyze how pate...
Article
In some markets vertically integrated firms sell directly to final customers but also to independent downstream firms with whom they then compete on the downstream market. It is often argued that resellers intensify competition and benefit consumers, in particular when wholesale prices are regulated. However, we show that (i) resale may increase pr...
Article
Many high technology goods are based on standards that require access to several patents that are owned by different IP holders. We investigate the royalties chosen by IP holders under different market structures. Vertical integration of an IP holder and a downstream producer solves the double mark-up problem between these firms. Nevertheless, it m...
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Full-text available
When should a principal control an agent? Control limits shirking but reduces the agent's productivity. We analyze experimentally how an imperfect signal about the agent's past performance affects optimal contract design. Without signal all principals control and pay low wages. If agents can acquire a reputation, many principals do not control and...
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We report on several experiments on the optimal allocation of ownership rights. The experiments confirm the property rights approach by showing that the ownership structure affects relationship-specific investments and that subjects attain the most efficient ownership allocation despite starting from different initial conditions. However, in contra...
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This study explores the ways in which information about other individual's action affects one's own behavior in a dictator game. The experimental design discriminates behaviorally between three possible effects of recipient's within-game reputation on the dictator's decision: Reputation causing indirect reciprocity, social influence, and identifica...
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Full-text available
In markets with network externalities compatibility standards affect not only the pricing decisions of firms but also their incentives to invest into the quality of their goods and/or the standard, their incentives to share technologies and their incentives to enter the market. Firms may cooperate and agree to the development of a common standard,...
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Full-text available
Covenants are a means to mitigate the agency problems between borrower and lender that are induced by the allocation of cash flow rights in a debt contract. This comment shows that if covenants could be renegotiated without any transaction costs they could be used to induce efficient behaviour on the part of the borrower and to fully protect lender...
Article
In this paper we investigate the pricing incentives of IP holders and compare the equilibrium royalty rates charged by vertically integrated IP holders with those of non- integrated IP holders. We show that under many circumstances non-integrated companies are likely to charge lower royalties than their vertically integrated counterparts. The resul...
Article
We show experimentally that fairness concerns may have a decisive impact on the actual and optimal choice of contracts in a moral hazard context. Bonus contracts that offer a voluntary and unenforceable bonus for satisfactory performance provide powerful incentives and are superior to explicit incentive contracts when there are some fair-minded pla...
Article
We study the incentives for a "diagonal" merger between two Internet Service Providers, one a wireless retail only ISP in two origination markets, and the second a vertically integrated wired retailer in one market and an upstream provider in the other. The merger's effects depend on differentiation in access modalities; only with high differentiat...
Article
Most economic models are based on the self-interest hypothesis that assumes that material self-interest exclusively motivates all people. Experimental economists have gathered overwhelming evidence in recent years, however, that systematically refutes the self-interest hypothesis, suggesting that concerns for altruism, fairness, and reciprocity str...
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This study analyzes the effects of right-wing extremism on the well-being of immigrants based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 1984 to 2006 merged with state-level information on election outcomes. The results show that the life satisfaction of immigrants is significantly reduced if right-wing extremism in the nativ...
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When a young entrepreneurial firm matures, it is often necessary to replace the founding entrepreneur by a professional manager. This replacement decision can be affected by the private benefits of control enjoyed by the entrepreneur which gives rise to a conflict of interest between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist. We show that a combi...
Article
When a young entrepreneurial firm matures, it is often necessary to replace the founding entrepreneur by a professional manager. This replacement decision can be affected by the private benefits of control enjoyed by the entrepreneur which gives rise to a conflict of interest between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist. We show that a combi...
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This report argues in favour of an economics-based approach to Article 82, in a way similar to the reform of Article 81 and merger control.
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Engelmann and Strobel (AER 2004) question the relevance of inequity aversion in simple dictator game experiments claiming that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is more important than inequity aversion. We show that these results are partly based on a strong subject pool effect. The pa...
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Full-text available
In a recent “pamphlet” Shaked (2005) harshly criticizes two of our papers, Fehr and Schmidt (1999, 2003). This reply shows that Shaked's charges are not substantiated in any way. It points out several logical flaws in his arguments,and shows that he grossly misquotes and misinterprets our papers. ,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Full-text available
Engelmann and Strobel (AER 2004) question the relevance of inequity aversion in simple dictator game experiments claiming that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is more important than inequity aversion. We show that these results are partly based on a strong subject pool effect. The pa...
Article
Full-text available
Most economic models are based on the self-interest hypothesis that assumes that material self-interest exclusively motivates all people. Experimental economists have gathered overwhelming evidence in recent years, however, that systematically refutes the self-interest hypothesis, suggesting that concerns for altruism, fairness, and reciprocity str...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence shows that real-effort investments can affect bilateral bargaining outcomes. This paper investigates whether similar investments can inhibit equilibrium convergence of experimental markets. In one treatment, sellers’ relative effort affects the allocation of production costs, but a random productivity shock ensures that the allocation is n...
Article
This paper reports on a two-task principal-agent experiment in which only one task is contractible. The principal can either offer a piece-rate contract or a (voluntary) bonus to the agent. Bonus contracts strongly outperform piece rate contracts. Many principals reward high efforts on both tasks with substantial bonuses. Agents anticipate this and...
Article
This paper reports on a two-task principal-agent experiment in which only one task is contractible. The principal can either offer a piece-rate contract or a (voluntary) bonus to the agent. Bonus contracts strongly outperform piece-rate contracts. Many principals reward high effort on both tasks with substantial bonuses. Agents anticipate this and...
Article
Full-text available
We show experimentally that fairness concerns may have a decisive impact on both the actual and the optimal choice of contracts in a moral hazard context. Explicit incentive contracts that are optimal according to self-interest theory become inferior when some agents value fairness. Conversely, implicit bonus contracts that are doomed to fail among...
Article
In a recent paper Engelmann and Strobl claim that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is far more important than inequity aversion. Here we show that the relevance of the efficiency motive is largely restricted to students of economics and business administration. Students from other dis...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the ways in which information about other individual's action affects one's own behavior in a dictator game. The experimental design discriminates behaviorally between three possible effects of recipient's within-game reputation on the dictator's decision: Reputation causing indirect reciprocity, social influence, and identifica...
Article
This Paper discusses the economic merits of direct or indirect governmental support for open source projects. Software markets differ from standard textbook markets in three important respects that may give rise to market failures: (i) large economies of scale, (ii) crucially important innovations, (iii) significant network effects and switching co...
Article
This paper offers a new explanation for the prevalent use of convertible securities in venture capital finance. Convertible securities can be used to endogenously allocate cash-flow rights as a function of the state of the world and the entrepreneur's effort. This property can be used to induce the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist to invest...
Article
This paper studies the relation between discrete–time and continuous–time principal–agent models. We derive the continuous–time model as a limit of discrete–time models with ever shorter periods and show that optimal incentive schemes in the discrete–time models approximate the optimal incentive scheme in the continuous model, which is linear in ac...
Article
This paper studies the relation between discrete-time and continuous-time principal-agent models. We derive the continuous-time model as a limit of discrete-time models with ever shorter periods and show that optimal incentive schemes in the discrete-time models approximate the optimal incentive scheme in the continuous model, which is linear in ac...
Article
In this paper we give an overview, with special emphasis on Germany, of the recent development of the market for venture capital. We analyse the financial contracting problems that arise when entrepreneurs need capital from outside investors, and demonstrate how these problems are addressed by the institutions and contracts observed in the market f...
Article
Revised: October 20, 1996 { Paper written for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law. One of the most important reasons for writing contracts identiied in both law and economics is the desire to protect relationship-speciic investments (reliance expenditures) against the hazards inherent to exchange. However, such contracts are typica...
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Full-text available
We show that concerns for fairness may have dramatic consequences for the optimal provision of incentives in a moral hazard context. Incentive contracts that are optimal when there are only selfish actors become inferior when some agents are concerned with fairness. Conversely, contracts that are doomed to fail when there are only selfish actors pr...
Article
Full-text available
There is strong evidence that people exploit their bargaining power in competitive markets but not in bilateral bargaining situations. There is also strong evidence that people exploit free-riding opportunities in voluntary cooperation games. Yet, when they are given the opportunity to punish free-riders, stable cooperation is maintained although p...
Article
Full-text available
We show that concerns for fairness may have dramatic consequences for the optimal provision of incentives in a moral hazard context. Incentive contracts that are optimal when there are only selfish actors become inferior when some agents are concerned about fairness. Conversely, contracts that are doomed to fail when there are only selfish actors p...
Article
Mit der geplanten Dienstrechtsreform, die von Edelgard Bulmahn, Bundesministerin für Bildung und Forschung, vorgestellt wird, sollen Hochschullehrer in Zukunft leistungsorientiert entlohnt und für junge Nachwuchswissenschaftler bessere Arbeitsbedingungen geschaffen werden. Für Hans Zehetmair, Bayerischer Staatsminister für Wissenschaft, Forschung u...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the consequences of cognitive dissonance, coupled with time-inconsistent preferences, in an intertemporal decision problem with two distinct goals: acting decisively on early information (vision) and adjusting flexibly to late information (flexibility). The decision maker considered here is capable of manipulating information to...
Article
Full-text available
Most economic models are based on the self-interest hypothesis that assumes that all people are exclusively motivated by their material self-interest. In recent years experimental economists have gathered overwhelming evidence that systematically refutes the self-interest hypothesis and suggests that many people are strongly motivated by concerns f...
Article
This paper examines how the presence of a non-negligible fraction of reciprocally fair actors changes the provision of incentives through contracts. We provide experimental evidence that principals have a strong preference for less complete contracts although the standard self-interest model predicts that they should prefer the more complete contra...
Article
Full-text available
There is strong evidence that people exploit their bargaining power in competitive markets but not in bilateral bargaining situations. There is also strong evidence that people exploit free-riding opportunities in voluntary cooperation games. Yet, when they are given the opportunity to punish free riders, stable cooperation is maintained, although...
Article
Full-text available
There is strong evidence that people exploit their bargaining power in competitive markets but not in bilateral bargaining situations. There is also strong evidence that people exploit free-riding opportunities in voluntary cooperation games. Yet, when they are given the opportunity to punish free riders, stable cooperation is maintained, although...
Article
Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effect...
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Full-text available
: We analyze explicit and implicit contracts in a repeated principal-agent model with observable but only partially contractible actions of the agent. It is shown that the set of implementable actions may increase or decrease if additional actions become contractible. Keywords: Implicit contracts, repeated games. JEL classification numbers: L14, C7...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the investment incentives given by contingent ownership structures that are prevalent in joint ventures. We consider a variation of the standard hold-up problem where two parties make relationship-specific investments sequentially in order to generate a joint surplus in the future. In many interesting cases, including investment...
Article
Full-text available
The paper shows that an increase in competition has two effects on managerial incentives: It increases the probability of liquidation, which has a positive effect on managerial effort, but it also reduces the firm's profits, which may make it less attractive to induce high effort. Thus, the total effect is ambiguous. I identify natural circumstanc...
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Full-text available
The paper surveys recent results of auction theory, bargaining theory and political economy in order to compare different methods of privatization. We assume that a government is not only interested in maximizing revenues from privatization, but also in achieving an efficient allocation of ownership rights. We show that these two goals may conflict...
Article
The privatization process in Eastern Europe is not irreversible. Future governments may want to (partially) expropriate successful private firms in order to subsidize unsuccessful ones. We use a simple median voter model to predict the policy of future governments. It is shown that there will be less expropriation the more shares were distributed f...
Chapter
In a seminal paper Grossman and Hart (1986) developed a theory of the optimal allocation of ownership rights based on incomplete contracts. In their model the only contracts feasible prior to investment decisions allocate ownership rights over physical assets. We investigate the role of a collateralized debt contract, which assigns ownership rights...
Article
This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection a...
Article
The paper offers a selective survey on the incomplete contracts approach to privatization. Furthermore, a simple model of privatization to an owner-manager is developed in which different allocations of ownership rights lead to different allocations of inside information about the firm which in turn affect allocative and productive efficiency. In t...
Article
The paper analyzes reputation effects in perturbed repeated games with discounting. If there is some positive prior probability that one of the players is committed to play the same (pure) action in every period, then this provides a lower bound for her equilibrium playoff in all Nash equilibria. This bound is tight and independent of what other ty...