Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts
AbstractIn this paper we model contract incompleteness "from the ground up," as arising endogenously from the costs of describing the environment and the parties' behavior. Optimal contracts may exhibit two forms of incompleteness: discretion, meaning that the contract does not specify the parties' behavior with sufficient detail; and rigidity, meaning that the parties' obligations are not sufficiently contingent on the external state. The model sheds light on the determinants of rigidity and discretion in contracts, and yields rich predictions regarding the impact of changes in the exogenous parameters on the degree and form of contract incompleteness. (JEL D23, D8, L14)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
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- Nabil J Al-Najjar & Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2002.
STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series
431, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1992.
"Measurement Distortion and Missing Contingencies in Optimal Contracts,"
Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
- Allen, F. & Gale, D., 1990. "Measurement Distortion And Missing Contingencies In Optimal Contracts," Weiss Center Working Papers 26-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
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