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Active Courts and Menu Contracts

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Author Info

  • Luca Anderlini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)

  • Leonardo Felli

    ()
    (Department of Economics, London School of Economics)

  • Andrew Postlewaite

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We describe and analyze a contractual environment that allows a role for an active court. The model we analyze is the same as in Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006). An active court can improve on the outcome that the parties would achieve without it. The institutional role of the court is to maximize the parties’ welfare under a veil of ignorance. In Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006) the possibility of “menu contracts” between the informed buyer and the uninformed seller is described but not analyzed. Here, we fully analyze this case. We find that if we maintain the assumption that one of the potential objects of trade is not contractible ex-ante, the results of Anderlini, Felli, and Postlewaite (2006) survive intact. If however we let all “widgets” be contractible ex-ante, then multiple equilibria obtain. In this case the role for an active court is to ensure the inefficient pooling equilibria do not exist alongside the superior ones in which separation occurs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 06-025.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:06-025

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Related research

Keywords: Optimal Courts; Informational Externalities; Ex-Ante Welfare; Informed Principal; Menu Contracts;

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  1. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  2. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2009. "Should Courts Always Enforce What Contracting Parties Write?," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal: The Case of Private Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 379-409, March.
  4. Baliga, Sandeep & Corchon, Luis C. & Sjostrom, Tomas, 1997. "The Theory of Implementation When the Planner Is a Player," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 15-33, November.
  5. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
  6. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  7. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  8. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2009. "Should Courts Always Enforce What Contracting Parties Write?," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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