AbstractThe basic form of economic exchange is a bilateral relationship between buyer and seller. If economic conditions are common knowledge there is no problem in principle to determine the efficient quantity to trade. But if benefits are known only to the buyer and costs are known only to the seller a situation of bargaining under incomplete information results. Instead of relying on the vagaries of a bargaining outcome, which might be quite costly to implement, economic inefficiency is likely to be improved by a contractual arrangement that could be agreed upon in advance. In such contracts various aspects of the exchange could be allocated to the two parties involved. For example, a price per unit might be fixed in advance and the buyer might be allowed to name his quantity in the light of the information he has about benefits. A more complex version would present the buyer with a non-linear price schedule. Alternatively the supplies might be given control. While these solutions are fairly well understood, there are other types of arrangements in which control is mutual. This paper studies contracts of this nature. We examine the feasibility of implementing various agreements and the nature of optimal bilateral contracts under these informational circumstances. When the random influences impact both parties significantly, full efficiency is not attainable. We show that contracts involving mutual control might sometimes be superior to the best contract giving one side or the other exclusive dominance.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0721.
Date of creation: Jul 1981
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Green, Jerry, and Seppo Honkapohja. "Bilateral Contracts." Journal of Mathematical Economics, Vol. 11, No. 2, (1983), pp. 171-187.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- M. L. Weitzman, 1973.
"Prices vs. Quantities,"
106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Spence, Michael, 1977. "Nonlinear prices and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-18, August.
- Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "A Differential Approach to Dominant Strategy Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1507-20, September.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1982. "Severance Pay, Pensions, and Efficient Mobility," NBER Working Papers 0854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Russell Cooper, 1983. "Worker Asymmetric Information and Involuntary Unemployment," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 671R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 1984.
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.