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Exit options in incomplete contracts with asymmetric information

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  • Bester, Helmut
  • Krähmer, Daniel

Abstract

This paper analyzes bilateral contracting in an environment with contractual incompleteness and asymmetric information. One party (the seller) makes an unverifiable quality choice and the other party (the buyer) has private information about its valuation. A simple exit option contract, which allows the buyer to refuse trade, achieves the firstbest in the benchmark cases where either quality is verifiable or the buyer's valuation is public information. But, when unverifiable and asymmetric information are combined, exit options induce inefficient pooling and lead to a particularly simple contract. Inefficient pooling is unavoidable also under the most general form of contracts, which make trade conditional on the exchange of messages between the parties. Indeed, simple exit option contracts are optimal if random mechanisms are ruled out. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2008/23.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:200823

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Keywords: Incomplete contracts; asymmetric information; exit options;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bester, Helmut & Krähmer, Daniel, 2013. "Exit options and the allocation of authority," Discussion Papers 2013/5, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  2. Gilberto SERAVALLI, 2011. "Conflict, Contract, Leadership and Innovation: An Interdisciplinary View," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 1(6), pages 48, October.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Drew Fudenberg & Richard Holden & Takashi Kunimoto & Olivier Tercieux, 2012. "Subgame-Perfect Implementation Under Information Perturbations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1843-1881.
  4. Bester, Helmut & Münster, Johannes, 2013. "Subjective evaluation versus public information," Discussion Papers 2013/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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