Efficient Delegation by an Informed Principal
AbstractConsider the case of a firm with private valuation information bargaining with a supplier over the price and quantity of a good. If the firm and the supplier bargain directly, the bargaining outcome may not yield a first-best outcome due to the presence of information rents. The question we examine in this paper is whether these direct bargaining inefficiencies can be eliminated if the firm delegates the authority to negotiate with the supplier to an agent. We model the agent as an independent profit center that contracts with the parent firm as well as the supplier. The delegation of decision-making to the agent can influence the interaction between the firm and the supplier by altering the information rents the agent can claim from the supplier. To identify the role of delegation, we focus instead on two games. Both games have a continuum of equilibria, which we compare to the set of incentive efficient equilibria of the initial no-delegation bargaining game. The first game involves partial delegation as the firm controls the release of its private information through a public transfer price charged to the agent. Because the relationship between the agent and the uninformed supplier is one of full information, the unique equilibrium quantity is first-best yet we show that the informed firm still earns an information rent. The second game involves full delegation as the agent controls both the quantity choice and the release of the firm's private information. We show that the full delegation game has a large set of equilibria that includes all of the incentive efficient equilibria of the bargaining game as well as inefficient equilibria. We believe our notion of partial delegation can be reflected in firms organized as profit centers and the management practice of category management
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings with number 42.
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC
Delegation; common agency;
Other versions of this item:
- C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Prat, A. & Rustichini, A., 1999.
"Games Played Through Agents,"
1999-68, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Miles, James A & Rosenfeld, James D, 1983. " The Effect of Voluntary Spin-Off Announcements on Shareholder Wealth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1597-1606, December.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 1996.
"Decentralization and Collusion,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1757, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Melumad, Nahum & Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "A theory of responsibility centers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 445-484, December.
- Rochet, J. C., 1985. "The taxation principle and multi-time Hamilton-Jacobi equations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 113-128, April.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
- Schipper, Katherine & Smith, Abbie, 1983. "Effects of recontracting on shareholder wealth : The case of voluntary spin-offs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 437-467, December.
- Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987.
"Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
- Fershtman, Chaim & Kalai, Ehud, 1997.
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 763-74, November.
- Fershtman, C. & Kalai, E., 1993. "Unobserved Delegation," Papers 10-93, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
- Chaim Fershtman & Ehud Kalai, 1993. "Unobserved Delegation," Discussion Papers 1043, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Deneckere, Raymond J., 1989. "A direct mechanism characterization of sequential bargaining with one-sided incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 18-46, June.
- Spulber, Daniel F., 1988. "Bargaining and regulation with asymmetric information about demand and supply," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 251-268, April.
- Rosenfeld, James D, 1984. " Additional Evidence on the Relation between Divestiture Announcements and Shareholder Wealth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1437-48, December.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991.
"Privatization and Incentives,"
572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Bond, Eric W. & Gresik, Thomas A., 1996. "Regulation of multinational firms with two active governments: A common agency approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 33-53, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.