Of course, you can post questions (as comments to this post) and I will respond to them. But I will do so without providing a full answer to the question that you can memorize in toto.
Also, you can schedule a meeting with me if you'd like. I'm happy to discuss this or any other course issue with you.
There are six candidate questions below and three will be chosen from the six. Two are new to you.
You haven't seen them before and are on the last portion of the course. The other four you have seen either the question as posed or something similar. These are questions on the content of Midterm 1 and Midterm 2 that didn't appear on those exams.
The New Questions:
A. This question concerns shirking and explicit incentives to prevent it, as well as the consequences on market equilibrium. Compare and contrast the static principal-agent model with random output to the Shapiro-Stiglitz model. Discuss the underlying assumptions, how incentives for putting forth effort are provided, and the consequence on equilibrium, from both the contractual perspective and the market perspective. Also discuss for each model whether or not there is a role for government to play to improve market performance.
B. This question concerns innovative practice in the the setting of the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma. Employees with some responsibility allocated to them may be quite diligent in doing their established work, so shirking per se is not an issue at all, but they may be very reluctant to try out new approaches for fear of being blamed when an experiment along those lines blows up in their faces. There are various possible solutions to this issue:
(i) provide large rewards for experiments that succeed,
(ii) pool experiments across several employees each with some responsibility so responsibility is shared,
(iii) punish work groups if they don't show innovation over time.
(iv) possibly other mechanisms that might occur to you.
Discuss the pros and cons of each of these and discuss how the organization might come to a particular approach in trying to encourage organization members to be innovative.
Candidate Questions from Midterm 1
C. This question concerns transfer prices. Provide a working definition for what a transfer price is. In a for-profit organization how should ownership (shareholders) want the transfer price to be set? Explain why others in the organization might want the transfer price to be set differently. What transfer price would these others like to see? When service quality is jointly set with the transfer price, what service quality would ownership like to see? Explain why this is the case. Others may want a different service quality level. Explain how their preferred service quality level differs from what ownership wants.
D. This question concerns economic efficiency concepts. There is a partial equilibrium concept and a general equilibrium concept. Describe each of these. Do the two concepts always coincide? If not, under what additional assumptions do they coincide. Provide an argument for why we should expect efficient outcomes. Economic efficiency has been critiqued on several grounds. Explain some of these criticisms and provide settings where the particular critique appears valid.
Candidate Questions from Midterm 2
E. This question concerns procurement. Discus why in government agencies procurement is subject to regulation. What is the regulation aimed at preventing? What does it try to accomplish? Explain why during the bidding process the lowest price bidder may not be selected, although the process is competitive. Discuss the various goals the agency conducting the procurement may have going into the process.
F. This question concerns conflict in organizations and, in particular, Model 1 and Model 2 of Schon and Argyris. Explain how a manager can without intending to do so cause the staff under him to be angry with his management approach. What is it that causes their anger? What are the consequences for the unit when the manager behaves this way? Explain the Schon and Argyris recommendation about how the manager might diffuse the tension. Why does their recommendation have a chance to be effective?