Optimal organization in a sequential investment problem with the principal's cancellation option

Yasunari Tamada, Tsung Sheng Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers a two-stage sequential investment problem where the principal wishes to cancel the project if it fails in the first stage. Suppose that only the first-stage agent can observe the outcome in the first stage. There are two organizational forms to choose from: integration, where a single agent is in charge of investments in two stages; and separation, where two different agents are in charge of the two stages. Integration gives rise to a smaller wage cost of inducing high effort in both stages; however, in order to obtain the correct information to cancel the project, separation may have some advantage in terms of saving the information rent. We show that when the effort cost in the first stage is sufficiently small, the principal prefers separation because the first-stage agent has less incentive to lie about the outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun


  • Cancellation option
  • Optimal organization
  • Sequential investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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