Procurement with Asymmetric Information About Fixed and Variable Costs

Rick Antle, Peter Bogetoft

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We investigate optimal rationing of resources and organizational slack when a principal procures from an agent with private information about fixed and variable costs. We study the problem in a two‐period setting with persistent types and investigate how the optimal rationing and slack depend on whether production increases or decreases over time. We find that rationing in a dynamic model with persistent types is extra costly, since the types that are eliminated in period 1 might have been attractive in period 2. The cost of rationing increases with the variability of production. If production levels are increasing (decreasing), the principal will be cautious when eliminating types with low variable (fixed) costs in period 1, since these types are particularly profitable in period 2. When production is more stable over time, harsher rationing can be applied in period 1, followed by less harsh rationing, if any, in period 2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Accounting Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1417-1452
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Cost accounting
  • Fixed and variable costs
  • Production contracting
  • Dynamic model
  • Resource rationing
  • Organizational slack
  • Contracting
  • Cost functions
  • Production management
  • Managerial accounting

Cite this