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Contractual Intermediaries

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Author Info

  • Garey Ramey

    (Dept. Economics, UCLA, San Diego)

  • Joel Watson

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 system.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d12a/d1235.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1235.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (October 2002), 18: 362-384
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1235

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Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  2. Aaron S. Edlin & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," NBER Working Papers 5007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-82, March.
  6. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers," NBER Working Papers 7218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  8. Kennan, John, 1979. "Bonding and the enforcement of labor contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 61-66.
  9. 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.
  10. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-theoretic approaches to wages and displacement," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-68.
  11. 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.
  12. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9wv3h5jb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
  16. Blume Andreas, 1994. "Intraplay Communication in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 181-211, March.
  17. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1225, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  26. 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.
  27. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  28. 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.
  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. 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.
  2. Thorsten Koeppl, 2005. "Optimal Dynamic Risk Sharing when Enforcement is a Decision Variable," Working Papers 1050, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5zd216tw, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers," NBER Working Papers 7218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-theoretic approaches to wages and displacement," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-68.
  8. 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.
  9. Avinash Dixit, 2001. "On Modes of Economic Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 589, CESifo Group Munich.

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