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Moral Hazard and Private Monitoring

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  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Essex)

  • Eric van Damme

    (Center for Economic Research Tilburg)

Abstract

We analyze a model of repeated bilateral trade with moral hazard, where the quality of goods received can differ from the quality despatched due to deterioration during transportation. Since the sender does not observe the quality of good received and the receiver does not observe the quality despatched, we have a repeated game with with imperfect monitoring by private signals. The stage game has multiple Nash equilibria, which would allow cooperation in finitely repeated interaction. However, with private signals, the pure strategy equilibria of the twice-repeated game are degenerate, and cannot support any cooperation.We construct a mixed strategy equilibrium which supports partial cooperation. However this mixed strategy equilibrium cannot approximate the cooperative outcome even if the noise in the signals tends to zero. This failure of lower hemicontinuity in the sequential equilibrium correspondence is removed if we allow for extensive form correlation; i.e. we allow players to condition their second period actions upon a sunspot as well as the private signals. We use these ideas to show how efficient outcomes can be supported in infinitely repeated one-sided moral hazard.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9809004.

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Date of creation: 15 Sep 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9809004

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Keywords: repeated games with imperfect monitoring; private signals; mixed strategies; sunspot equilibria;

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