This paper examines moral hazard in teams over time. Agents are collectively engaged in an uncertain project, and their individual eﬀorts are unobserved. Free-riding leads not only to a reduction in eﬀort, but also to procrastination. The collaboration dwindles over time, but never ceases as long as the project has not succeeded. In fact, the delay until the project succeeds, if it ever does, increases with the number of agents. We show why deadlines, but not necessarily better monitoring, help to mitigate moral hazard.
Moral hazard, Teams, Experimentation, Collaboration, Public goods, Learning
JEL Classification Codes: C72, C73, D83
Published in American Economic Review (April 2011), 101: 632-663 [DOI]