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Competitive Markets without Commitment

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  • Nick Netzer
  • Florian Scheuer

Abstract

In the presence of a time-inconsistency problem with optimal agency contracts, we show that competitive markets implement allocations that Pareto dominate those achieved by a benevolent planner, they induce strictly more effort, and they sometimes make the commitment problem disappear entirely. In particular, we analyze a model with moral hazard and two-sided lack of commitment. After agents have chosen a hidden effort and the need to provide incentives has vanished, firms can modify their contracts and agents can switch firms. As long as the ex-post market outcome satisfies a weak notion of competitiveness and sufficiently separates individuals who choose different effort levels, the market allocation is Pareto superior to a social planner’s allocation. We construct a specific market game that naturally generates robust equilibria with these properties. In addition, we show that equilibrium contracts without commitment are identical to those with full commitment if the latter involve no cross-subsidization between individuals who choose different effort levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by www.najecon.org in its series NajEcon Working Paper Reviews with number 814577000000000462.

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Date of creation: 22 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:814577000000000462

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Cited by:
  1. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2014. "Optimal incentive contracts for knowledge workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 82-106.
  2. Maurus Rischatsch, 2009. "Simulating WTP Values from Random-Coefficient Models," SOI - Working Papers 0912, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  3. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2010. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent is Free to Leave," CEPR Discussion Papers 7914, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Maurus Rischatsch & Maria Trottmann, 2009. "Physician dispensing and the choice between generic and brand-name drugs – Do margins affect choice?," SOI - Working Papers 0911, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  5. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2012. "A Game Theoretic Foundation of Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 18471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2012. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening and Multitasking," IDEI Working Papers 756, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Mar 2013.
  7. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive screening in insurance markets with endogenous wealth heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 187-211, August.
  8. Jenny Simon, 2011. "Financial Markets as a Commitment Device for the Government," 2011 Meeting Papers 447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
  10. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2011. "A Game-Theoretic Foundation for the Wilson Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 3412, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. John Hatfield & Fuhito Kojima & Yusuke Narita, 2012. "Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach," Discussion Papers 12-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  12. Florian Scheuer & Alexander Wolitzky, 2014. "Capital Taxation under Political Constraints," NBER Working Papers 20043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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