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Economic and Legal Aspects of Costly Recontracting

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  • Alan Schwartz
  • Joel Watson

Abstract

This paper explores how the opportunity to recontract affects investment and trade in contractual relationships when it is assumed that renegotiation is costly. In this world, recontracting retains much of the benefit that has been ascribed to it, including the realization of any surplus that is available ex post. Costly recontracting also mitigates the well-known drawback, that parties who expect to renegotiate sometimes cannot credibly commit to invest efficiently. This is because the attractiveness of renegotiation decreases in recontracting costs. We show that the optimal contracting environment often involves moderate recontracting costs, which balance the beneficial and detrimental effects of renegotiation. Our re

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm143.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2000
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2001
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm143

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Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/
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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  2. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Jolls, Christine, 1997. "Contracts as Bilateral Commitments: A New Perspective on Contract Modification," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 203-37, January.
  6. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  8. Joel S. Demski & David E.M. Sappington, 1991. "Resolving Double Moral Hazard Problems with Buyout Agreements," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 232-240, Summer.
  9. Huberman, Gur & Kahn, Charles M, 1988. "Limited Contract Enforcement and Strategic Renegotiation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 471-84, June.
  10. Benjamin E. Hermalin and Michael L. Katz., 1990. "Moral Hazard and Verifiability: The Effects of Renegotiation in Agency," Economics Working Papers 90-141, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-60, March.
  13. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Postlewaite, 2007. "Courts of Law and Unforeseen Contingencies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 662-684, October.
  2. Ivo Welch & Arturo Bris, 2001. "The Optimal Concentration of Creditors," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm248, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2004.
  3. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 2001. "Inductive Inference: An Axiomatic Approach," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1339, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Watson, Joel & Brennan, Jim, 2002. "The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4242n025, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  5. Grosskopf Ofer & Medina Barak, 2007. "Rationalizing Drennan: On Irrevocable Offers, Bid Shopping and Binding Range," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 321-361, August.
  6. Ivo Welch, 2002. "Columbus' Egg: The Real Determinant of Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 8782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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