Costly Contracting in a Long-Term Relationship
AbstractWe examine a model of contracting where parties interact repeatedly and can contract at any point in time, but writing enforceable contracts is costly. A contract can describe contingencies and actions at a more or less detailed level, and the cost of writing a contract is proportional to the amount of detail. We consider both formal (externally enforced) and informal (self-enforcing) contracts. The presence of writing costs has important implications both for the optimal structure of formal contracts, particularly the tradeoff between contingent and spot contracts, and for the interaction between formal and informal contracting. Our model sheds light on these implications and generates a rich set of predictions about the determinants of the optimal mode of contracting.
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 IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 249.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: via Rontgen, 1 - 20136 Milano (Italy)
Web page: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/
Other versions of this item:
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.:
- Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1998.
"Incomplete Contracts and Complexity Costs,"
28483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
- Nabil Al-Najjar & Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2002.
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
3578, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 2002. "Unforeseen Contingencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Nabil J Al-Najjar & Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2002. "Unforeseen Contingencies," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 431, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1998. "The Interaction of Implicit and Explicit Contracts in Repeated Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-96, April.
- Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989.
"Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
- Dye, Ronald A, 1985. "Costly Contract Contingencies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 233-50, February.
- Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
- George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1993.
"Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
4480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
- Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
- W. Bentley Macleod, 2000. "Complexity and Contract," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 149-178.
- Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.