We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Agency problems and airport security : quantitative and qualitative evidence on the impact of security training.

de Gramatica, M. and Massacci, F. and Shim, W. and Turhan, U. and Williams, J. (2017) 'Agency problems and airport security : quantitative and qualitative evidence on the impact of security training.', Risk analysis., 37 (2). pp. 372-395.


We analyze the issue of agency costs in aviation security by combining results from a quantitative economic model with a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews. Our model extends previous principal-agent models by combining the traditional fixed and varying monetary responses to physical and cognitive effort with nonmonetary welfare and potentially transferable value of employees' own human capital. To provide empirical evidence for the tradeoffs identified in the quantitative model, we have undertaken an extensive interview process with regulators, airport managers, security personnel, and those tasked with training security personnel from an airport operating in a relatively high-risk state, Turkey. Our results indicate that the effectiveness of additional training depends on the mix of “transferable skills” and “emotional” buy-in of the security agents. Principals need to identify on which side of a critical tipping point their agents are to ensure that additional training, with attached expectations of the burden of work, aligns the incentives of employees with the principals' own objectives.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: de Gramatica, M., Massacci, F., Shim, W., Turhan, U. and Williams, J. (2016), Agency Problems and Airport Security: Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence on the Impact of Security Training. Risk Analysis, 37(2): 372-395, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:15 January 2016
Date deposited:20 January 2016
Date of first online publication:31 March 2016
Date first made open access:31 March 2018

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar