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Strategic Information Gathering Before a Contract is Offered

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  • Cremer, J.
  • Khalil, F
  • Rochet, J.-C.

Abstract

We study how optimal contracts are modified when the agent has the possibility to acquire information before the contract is offered to him. We consider a situation in which this information is always available to the agent just before producing. Therefore, prior information acquisition is socially wasteful, and conducted only for the purpose of rent seeking. In this context, we show that the typical outcome is one in which the agent randomizes between acquiring information or not. Therefore, the principal cannot perfectly anticipate whether the agent is informed or not, and has to offer two different contracts. One is designed for uninformed agents, the other is designed for informed agents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse - GREMAQ in its series Papers with number 976.425.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:gremaq:976.425

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Web page: http://www-gremaq.univ-tlse1.fr/
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Keywords: REGULATION ; INFORMATION;

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References

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  1. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1992. "Gathering Information before Signing a Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 566-78, June.
  2. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  3. Lewis Tracy R. & Sappington David E. M., 1993. "Ignorance in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 169-183, October.
  4. David P. Baron & Roger B. Myerson, 1979. "Regulating a Monopolist with Unknown Costs," Discussion Papers 412, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington David E M, 1993. "Choosing Workers' Qualifications: No Experience Necessary?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 479-502, August.
  6. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Contracts and Productive Information Gathering," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 174-193, November.
  7. Craswell, Richard, 1988. "Precontractual Investigation as an Optimal Precaution Problem," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 401-36, June.
  8. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1991. "All-or-nothing information control," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 111-113, October.
  9. Cremer, Jacques & Khalil, Fahad, 1994. "Gathering information before the contract is offered: The case with two states of nature," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 675-682, April.
  10. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
  11. Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Information Control in the Principal-Agent Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 259-69, May.
  12. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1997. "Information Management in Incentive Problems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 796-821, August.
  13. Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Liability and the Incentive to Obtain Information about Risk," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 259-70, June.
  14. Khalil Fahad & Lawarree Jacques, 1995. "Input versus Output Monitoring: Who Is the Residual Claimant?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 139-157, June.
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