Optimal contract for machine repair and maintenance

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A principal hires an agent to repair a machine when it is down and maintain it when it is up and earns a revenue flowwhen the machine is up. Both the up- and downtimes follow exponential distributions. If the agent exerts effort, the downtime is shortened, and uptime is prolonged. Effort, however, is costly to the agent and unobservable to the principal. We study optimal dynamic contracts that always induce the agent to exert effort while maximizing the principal's profits.We formulate the contract design problem as a stochastic optimal controlmodel with incentive constraints in continuous time over an infinite horizon. Although we consider the contract space that allows payments and potential contract termination time to take general forms, the optimal contracts demonstrate simple and intuitive structures, making them easy to describe and implement in practice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tian, F; Sun, P; Duenyas, I

Published Date

  • May 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 69 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 916 - 949

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5463

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-364X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/OPRE.2020.2018

Citation Source

  • Scopus