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Contractual Intermediaries

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  • Ramey, Garey
  • Watson, Joel

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of third party intermediaries, such as courts and arbitrators, in contract enforcement. In our model, intermediaries compel contracted transfers and resolve disputes when requested to do so by the contracting agents. When the verifiability of information is limited, successful enforcement requires that dispute resolution costs be sufficiently great. Optimal enforcement systems economize on dispute resolution and information costs, and may involve establishment of specific systems tailored to particular groups. We show further that the "holdup problem" may be resolved via an appropriately designed dispute resolution sytem.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt49p1c23g.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt49p1c23g

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Keywords: third party intermediaries; dispute resolution;

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References

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  1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  2. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  3. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Summers, Lawrence H. & Dickens, William T. & Katz, Lawrence F. & Lang, Kevin, 1989. "Employee Crime and the Monitoring Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 3645199, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Aaron S. Edlin & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," NBER Working Papers 5007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Liquidity Flows and Fragility of business Enterprises," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt3d899423, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
  9. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  10. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8h0480sk, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  11. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  12. Bendor, Jonathan & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1990. "Norms, Third-Party Sanctions, and Cooperation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 33-63, Spring.
  13. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  14. Steven Shavell, 1989. "Sharing of Information Prior to Settlement or Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 183-195, Summer.
  15. Kennan, John, 1979. "Bonding and the enforcement of labor contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 61-66.
  16. Blume Andreas, 1994. "Intraplay Communication in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 181-211, March.
  17. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1225, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  18. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Job destruction and the experiences of displaced workers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 87-128, June.
  19. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  20. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  21. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  22. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  23. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1994. "An Economic Model of Legal Discovery," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 435-63, January.
  24. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  25. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  26. Shavell, Steven, 1995. "Alternative Dispute Resolution: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
  27. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-50, April.
  28. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  29. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 1989. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 198, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wouter den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Liquidity Flows and Fragility of Business Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 7057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brishti Guha, 2005. "The Auditor and the Firm : A Simple Model of Corporate Cheating and Intermediation," Microeconomics Working Papers 22429, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Thorsten Koeppl, 2005. "Optimal Dynamic Risk Sharing when Enforcement is a Decision Variable," Working Papers 1050, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8h0480sk, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  5. Klimenko, Mikhail & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2008. "Recurrent trade agreements and the value of external enforcement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 475-499, March.
  6. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1225, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Avinash Dixit, 2001. "On Modes of Economic Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 589, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1rd0w96t, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. Watson, Joel, 2006. "Contract and Game Theory: Basic Concepts for Settings with Finite Horizons," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0wx67671, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.

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