Soft Computing

, Volume 22, Issue 16, pp 5453–5465 | Cite as

Managerial compensation and research and development investment in a two-period agency setting

  • Zhiying Zhao
  • Guoqing YangEmail author
  • Jianmin Xu


To investigate the relationship between managerial compensation and research and development (R&D) investment under asymmetric information, this paper establishes a two-period principal-agency model, in which the firm owner hires a risk-averse manager to operate the firm and to make the R&D investment decision. The manager has private information regarding the profitability of the R&D investment. Firstly, we present an R&D investment problem under symmetric information as the benchmark. Then, we discuss the scenario with asymmetric information about the profitability, and the firm owner offers new optimal incentive contact. We compare the differences of the company’s R&D investment decisions and choices of the compensation contract under symmetric and asymmetric information cases by numerical experiments. We find that the manager receives an upward distortion in the first-period bonus share rate, and a downward distortion in the second-period bonus share rate. Meanwhile, the R&D investment is less than the symmetric information case. At last, the variable outside option has no effect on the optimal manager’s compensation contract when the marginal cost of R&D investment is relatively small or under symmetric information case.


R&D investment Bonus share rate Principal-agency theory Moral hazard 



This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province of China (F2015201142) and Humanities Social Sciences Research Project of Colleges and Universities in Hebei Province (SD171005).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Human and animals participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementHebei UniversityBaodingChina

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