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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. We first show that when contracting is private, i.e. when downstream principals observe neither the mechanisms offered upstream nor the decisions taken in these mechanisms, then all PBE outcomes can be characterized through pure-strategy profiles in which the principals offer menus of contracts and delegate to the agent the choice of the contractual terms. We then show that, in most cases of interest for applications, the characterization of the equilibrium outcomes is further facilitated by the fact that the principals can be restricted to offer incentive-compatible extended direct mechanisms in which the agent reports the endogenous payoff-relevant decisions contracted upstream in addition to his exogenous private information. Finally we show how the aforementioned results must be adjusted to accommodate alternative assumptions about the observability of upstream histories and/or the timing 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 1499.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1499

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Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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Keywords: Sequential common agency; mechanism design; contracts; endogenous types;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting," Discussion Papers 1394, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2001. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 575, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Olsen, Trond E. & Torsvik, Gaute, 1995. "Intertemporal common agency and organizational design: How much decentralization?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1405-1428, August.
  5. G. Bellettini & G. Ottaviano, 1999. "Special Interests and Technological change," Working Papers 340, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," Papers 178, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  7. Larry Epstein & Michael Peters, 1996. "A Revelation Principle For Competing Mechanisms," Working Papers peters-96-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Dirk & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1206, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. 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.
  10. Bizer, David S & DeMarzo, Peter M, 1992. "Sequential Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 41-61, February.
  11. Pauly, Mark V, 1974. "Overinsurance and Public Provision of Insurance: The Roles of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 44-62, February.
  12. Han, Seungjin, 2004. "Menu Theorems for Bilateral Contracting," Microeconomics.ca working papers han-04-01-29-10-05-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2004.
  13. 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.
  14. Martimort, David, 1996. "The multiprincipal nature of government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 673-685, April.
  15. Peters, Michael, 2001. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1349-72, September.
  16. Curtis R. Taylor, 2004. "Consumer Privacy and the Market for Customer Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 631-650, Winter.
  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.
  18. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2002. "Contidioning Prices on Purchase History," Microeconomics 0210001, EconWPA.
  19. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  20. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  21. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Martimort, David, 2003. " Regulatory Inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 413-37, Autumn.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Han, Seungjin, 2011. "Implicit Collusion in Non-Exclusive Contracting under Adverse Selection," Microeconomics.ca working papers seungjin_han-2011-10, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Apr 2013.
  3. Peters, Michael, 2014. "Competing Mechanisms," Microeconomics.ca working papers michael_peters-2014-7, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Feb 2014.
  4. Sambuddha Ghosh & Seungjin Han, 2012. "Repeated Contracting in Decentralised Markets," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-03, McMaster University, revised May 2013.
  5. 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.
  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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