Picture of Teck Yong Tan            Columbia logo

            Teck Yong Tan
            PhD Candidate, Department of Economics

              Email    :   teck.tan@columbia.edu
              Address :   1022 International Affairs Building,
                                420 West 118th Street, NY 10027

Research interests: Organizational Economics; Contract Theory; Information Economics; Microeconomic Theory.

Curriculum Vitae

Working Papers

  • "The Extrinsic Motivation of Freedom at Work".   (Job Market Paper)

    Abstract: Why does a worker become more efficient when given freedom at work? Under incomplete contracts, a worker faces a ratchet effect of innovating when he is closely monitored: if the worker uncovers a more efficient production method, the firm, being aware of it, raises the future performance requirement; anticipating this, the worker never tries to innovate. When given freedom at work instead, the worker accrues private information about his innovation. The resulting information asymmetry generates information rent which feeds back as the worker’s incentive to innovate and improve efficiency. This paper studies how a firm’s strategic ignorance influences its incentive structure which has to simultaneously induce effort from the worker and endogenously generate asymmetric information against the firm. The resulting mechanism provides a novel rationale to why relationships are sometimes characterized by weak incentives and low-scale production at the early stages.

  • "Managing Investment and Production in Principal-Agent Relationships", Mar 2017.
    View abstract

  • "Opportunism in Principal-Agent Relationships with Subjective Evaluation", Feb 2017, with W. Bentley MacLeod. (Supplementary Appendix) (Older version: NBER Working Paper 22156)
    View abstract

Work in Progress

  • "Transparency in Learning in Organizations". (Presentation slides)
    View abstract

  • "Feedback and Belief Manipulation via Discretionary Rewards". (Presentation slides)
    View abstract


  • Lecturer for Game Theory, Summer 2014 ( Evaluation) and Summer 2015 (Evaluation)

  • Teaching Assistant for Intermediate Microeconomics, Fall 2015 (Evaluation) and Spring 2016 (Evaluation)

  • Teaching Assistant for Microeconomic Analysis II (First-year PhD), Spring 2015 (Evaluation)

  • Teaching Assistant for Economics of Uncertainty and Information, Spring 2013 (Evaluation)