Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts
AbstractNovember 2, 1999 Inspired by facts from the private sector construction industry, we develop a model that explains many of the stylized facts about procurement contracts. The buyer in our model incurs a cost of providing a comprehensive design, and is faced with a trade-off between providing incentives and reducing ex post transaction costs due to costly renegotiation. We show that cost plus contracts are preferred to fixed price contracts when a project is more complex or when time-to-completion is more valuable. We also show when fixed-price or cost-plus contracts would be preferred to other incentive contracts, explaining the prevalence of these simple contracts. We then apply our model to the make-or-buy procurement decision and conclude that internal production dominates market procurement when the product is more complex, providing foundations for Transaction Cost Economics. (JEL D23, D82, L14, L22, L74)
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 99029.
Date of creation: 02 Nov 1999
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Other versions of this item:
- Bajari, Patrick & Tadelis, Steven, 2001. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 387-407, Autumn.
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
- L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-IND-1999-12-01 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-MIC-1999-12-01 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PUB-1999-12-01 (Public Finance)
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