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Sequential Contracting with Multiple Principals

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  • Giacomo Calzolari
  • Alessandro Pavan

Abstract

This paper considers dynamic games in which multiple principals contract sequentially and non-cooperatively with the same agent and provides characterization results useful for applications. Our benchmark model is one of private contracting in which downstream principals do not observe upstream mechanisms, nor the decisions taken in these mechanisms. We show that any equilibrium outcome that can be sustained with any arbitrary strategy space for the principals can also be sustained by restricting the principals to offer excended direct mechanisms. In these mechanisms, the agent first reports his extended type (i.e. his exogenous private information along with the endogenous payoff-relevant decisions contracted upstream), the principal then responds by offering the agent a (possibly degenerate) menu of contracts that are payoff-equivalent for that extended type, and finally the agent selects a contract from this menu and the contract is executed. We also show that characterizing equilibria through extended direct mechanisms is facilitated by the fact that (i) each principal can be restricted to offer a single mechanism; (ii) when the agent's strategy is Markov (i.e. it depends only on payoff-relevant information), each mechanism can be restricted to offer a single contract to each extended type; and (iii) restricting the agent's strategy to be Markov is without loss in the case of deterministic decisions, e.g. when the contracts are deterministic and the agent does not mix over effort. We finally show how the aforementioned results must be adjusted to occommodate alternative assumptions on the observability of upstream histories and/or the sequence of contracting examined in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1457.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1457

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Keywords: Sequential common agency; mechanism design; contracts; endogenous types.;

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References

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  1. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Discussion Papers 1259, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Giorgio Bellettini & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2003. "Special Interests and Technological Change," Working Papers 2003.59, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Martimort, David, 2003. " Regulatory Inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 413-37, Autumn.
  4. Han, Seungjin, 2006. "Menu theorems for bilateral contracting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 157-178, November.
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  8. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  9. Michael Peters, 1999. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Working Papers peters-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Arijit Mukherjee, 2008. "Career Concerns, Matching, And Optimal Disclosure Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1211-1250, November.
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  14. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting," Discussion Papers 1404, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Calzolari, Giacomo & Pavan, Alessandro, 2008. "On the use of menus in sequential common agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 329-334, September.
  16. Martimort, David, 1996. "The multiprincipal nature of government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 673-685, April.
  17. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1991. "Oversight of Long-Term Investment by Short-Lived Regulators," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 579-600, August.
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  20. Bizer, David S & DeMarzo, Peter M, 1992. "Sequential Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 41-61, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peters, Michael, 2014. "Competing Mechanisms," Microeconomics.ca working papers michael_peters-2014-7, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Feb 2014.
  2. Ghosh, Sambuddha & Han, Seungjin, 2012. "Repeated Contracting in Decentralised Markets," Microeconomics.ca working papers seungjin_han-2012-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 May 2013.
  3. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2012. "On the role of confidentiality and deadlines in bilateral negotiations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 714-730.
  4. Seungjin Han, 2012. "Implicit Collusion in Non-Exclusive Contracting under Adverse Selection," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-15, McMaster University, revised Apr 2013.
  5. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2008. "On the Use of Menus in Sequential Common Agency," Discussion Papers 1498, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Salvatore Piccolo & Giovanni W. Puopolo & Luis Vasconcelos, 2013. "Non-Exclusive Financial Advice," CSEF Working Papers 347, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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