By Edward G. Keating
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Additional info for Challenges in Defense Working Capital Fund Pricing : Analysis of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Thus, any straightforward measure of differences would be obscured by problems of relative magnitude. To get around this problem, we constructed a normalized measure for each output, including accounting. This normalized measure, called a “z-score,” was constructed using following the equation: zt = (expendituret – mean)/standard deviation The mean and standard deviation in the equation are the mean and standard deviation for the period before the billing change and are used in the calculations both before and after the billing change.
As a particular example of moral hazard remedies, an experimental study by DeJong et al. (1985) found that the moral hazard problem in an accounting setting was partially remedied by the provider’s concern with his or her reputation and the client’s investigation of the provider. In the laboratory setting, these remedies lessened but did not entirely solve the problem of auditors shirking their responsibilities. 34 Testing for Moral Hazard If there were a moral-hazard-induced change in DFAS’s accounting expenditures, we would expect to see an increase—either a level increase or a trend increase—after the change in the billing regime.
Analogous to a worker who decides whether or not to shirk his or her work duties, and who has the ability to evade work because he or she is not monitored, DFAS employees may have a choice in how efficiently they should work. Because DFAS’s actions are hidden from its customers, the customers fear that DFAS may be taking longer to do a job than is necessary. The economics literature makes some suggestions as to how principals might at least partially remedy the moral hazard problem. For example, a principal can monitor an agent’s work to see if the agent is as productive as the principal desires.