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Incomplete Contracts, Incentives and Economic Power

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  • Sripad Motiram

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    Abstract

    This paper formalizes ideas from classical and radical political economy on task allocation and technology adoption under capitalism. A few previous studies have attempted this, but the framework and results in this paper are different. I model labor contracts that are incomplete owing to unforeseen/indescribable contingencies, leading to Pareto-improving renegotiation and a hold-up problem. Given path dependence, the allocation is sub-optimal, with the extent of inefficiency depending upon the degree of incompleteness. This model captures insights from the above literature on the microeconomic roots of inefficiency and power. It also provides a concrete setting where indescribable contingencies do (or don’t) matter - a much-debated issue. [WP-2010-011]

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:3123.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3123

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    Related research

    Keywords: Incomplete Contracts; Unforeseen/Indescribeable Contingencies; Hold-Up; Classical and Radical Political Economy;

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
    2. John E. Roemer, 1979. "Divide and Conquer: Microfoundations of a Marxian Theory of Wage Discrimination," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(2), pages 695-705, Autumn.
    3. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
    4. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124, November.
    5. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760.
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