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Active Courts and Menu Contracts

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We describe and analyze a contractual environment that allows a role for an active court. The model we analyze is the same as in Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006). An active court can improve on the outcome that the parties would achieve without it. The institutional role of the court is to maximize the parties’ welfare under a veil of ignorance. In Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006) the possibility of “menu contracts” between the informed buyer and the uninformed seller is described but not analyzed. Here, we fully analyze this case. We find that if we maintain the assumption that one of the potential objects of trade is not contractible ex-ante, the results of Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006) survive intact. If however we let all “widgets” be contractible ex-ante, then multiple equilibria obtain. In this case the role for an active court is to ensure the inefficient pooling equilibria do not exist alongside the superior ones in which separation occurs. Classification-JEL Codes: C79, D74, D89, K40, L14

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~06-06-08.

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Date of creation: 08 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~06-06-08

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Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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Postal: Marcia Suss Administrative Officer Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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Keywords: Optimal Courts; Informational Externalities; Ex-ante Welfare; Informed Principal; Menu Contracts.;

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References

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  1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2006. "Should courts always enforce what contracting parties write?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4677, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Baliga, S. & Corchon, L.C. & Sjostrom, T., 1995. "The Theory of Implemetation when the Planner is a PLayer," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9512, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  4. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
  5. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  6. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
  7. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal: The Case of Private Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 379-409, March.
  8. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2006. "Should Courts Always Enforce What Contracting Parties Write?," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

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