日本経済学会 - Japanese Economic Association
The JEA-Nakahara Prize was established in 1995 and is funded by a donation from Mr Nobuyuki Nakahara. The prize was established to honour economists under the age of 45 who have produced internationally recognized research.
It is my pleasure to announce that the 2003 JEA-Nakahara Prize has been awarded to Professor Hideshi Itoh. Born in 1959, Itoh gained his BA from Hitotsubashi University in 1982 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1988. He is currently Professor of Economics at Hitotsubashi University.
Professor Itoh has made a number of important contributions to the theories of contracts and economic organizations. A series of his analyses of moral hazard in multi-agent situations provided important insights into team-based workplaces. Itoh was the first to identify two factors that determine whether the principal prefers teamwork to an unambiguous division of labour: strategic interaction between agents, and their attitudes towards performing multiple tasks. He also showed that, surprisingly, by designing incentive schemes appropriately, the principal can be better off when agents collude, which is likely to result from teamwork. Furthermore, Itoh showed that renegotiation with multiple agents, when the principal cannot observe their actions, can lead to the first-best allocation. This is in sharp contrast to previous results, which indicated that the first-best allocation cannot be achieved under renegotiation when actions are unobservable to the principal. Many of Itoh’s studies have contributed considerably to a deepening of our understanding of the differences in the functioning of economic organizations in the United States and Japan.
Itoh's major contributions include the following: