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Gathering Information before Signing a Contract

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  • Crémer, Jacques
  • Khalil, Fahad

Abstract

After being offered a contract, an agent has the possibility to observe the state of nature. This enables him to refuse the contract in unfavorable states but burdens him with an observation cost. The authors show that the principal offers a contract in which the agent has no incentive to observe the state of nature and they explore its terms. Later, they show that the principal finds it profitable to organize competition between several agents, even though he has monopoly power and can push a single agent down to his reservation utility. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 5.

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Date of creation: 1991
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, vol.�82, n°3, 1992, p.�566-578.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:1219

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  2. Doni Nicola, 2005. "L'affidamento mediante gara di contratti pubblici: l'importanza della reputazione," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 307.
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  4. Kim, In-Gyu, 1998. "A model of selective tendering: Does bidding competition deter opportunism by contractors?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 907-925.
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  15. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
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  18. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  19. Andreas Blume & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Modeling Tacit Collusion in Auctions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 163-184, March.
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  23. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
  24. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2003. "Bid rotation and collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-105, September.
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  26. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-32, September.
  27. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  28. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  29. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
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  31. Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
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