Missing Contracts: On the Rationality of not Signing a Prenuptial Agreement
AbstractMany couples do not sign prenuptial agreements, even though this often leads to costly and inefficient litigation in case of divorce. In this paper we show that strategic reasons may prevent agents from signing prenuptial agreements. Partners who value more the benefit of the marriage wish to signal their type by running the risk of a costly divorce. Hence this contract incompleteness arises as a screening device. Moreover, the threat of costly divorce is credible since the lack of an ex-ante agreement leads to a moral hazard problem within the couple, which induces partners to reject any ex-post amicable agreement.
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 Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica in its series Working Papers with number 20060506.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
symmetric information; incomplete contracts; prenuptial agreement.;
Other versions of this item:
- Antonio Nicolo' & Piero Tedeschi, 2004. "Missing Contracts: On the Rationality of not Signing a Prenuptial Agreement," Game Theory and Information 0406001, EconWPA.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
- Hermalin, Benjamin, 1990.
"Adverse Selection, Short-Term Contracting, and the Underprovision of On-the-Job Training,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt3636n9n2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Hermalin Benjamin E., 2002. "Adverse Selection, Short-Term Contracting, and the Underprovision of On-the-Job Training," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, July.
- Benjamin Hermalin., 1990. "Adverse Selection, Short-Term Contracting, and the Underprovision of On-the-Job Training," Economics Working Papers 90-139, University of California at Berkeley.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997.
"Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 1999.
"Optimal secession rules,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
99-51, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1999.
"Foundations of Incomplete Contracts,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 115-38, January.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
- Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Marriage: Part II,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
- Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
- 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.
- Robert Townsend, 1979.
"Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification,"
45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
- William P. Rogerson, 1984. "Efficient Reliance and Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 39-53, Spring.
- Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
- Diamond, Douglas W., 1993. "Seniority and maturity of debt contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-368, June.
- Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1993. "Judicial Modification of Contracts between Sophisticated Parties: A More Complete View of Incomplete Contracts and Their Breach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 230-55, October.
- Comino, Stefano & Nicolò, Antonio & Tedeschi, Piero, 2010.
"Termination clauses in partnerships,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 718-732, July.
- Stefano Comino & Antonio Nicolò & Piero Tedeschi, 2006. "Termination Clauses in Partnerships," Working Papers 20060505, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica.
- Stefano Comino & Antonio Nicolò & Piero Tedeschi, 2005. "Termination Clauses in Partnerships," Industrial Organization 0509007, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matteo Pelagatti).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.