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Building Routines: Learning, Cooperation, and the Dynamics of Incomplete Relational Contracts

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  • Sylvain Chassang

Abstract

This paper studies how agents with conflicting interests learn to cooperate when the details of cooperation are not common knowledge. It considers a repeated game in which one player has incomplete information about when and how her partner can provide benefits. Initially, monitoring is imperfect and cooperation requires inefficient punishment. As the players' common history grows, the uninformed player can learn to monitor her partner's actions, which allows players to establish more efficient cooperative routines. Because revealing information is costly, it may be optimal not to reveal all the existing information, and efficient equilibria can be path-dependent. (JEL C73, D82, D83, D86)

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain Chassang, 2010. "Building Routines: Learning, Cooperation, and the Dynamics of Incomplete Relational Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 448-465, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:448-65
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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