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Contracting in Vague Environments

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  • Marie-Louise Vierø

Abstract

This paper shows that a new trade-off arises in the optimal contract when contracting takes place with vague information (objective ambiguity), reflecting that real-world contracting often takes place under imprecise information. The choice-theoretic framework captures a decisionmaker's attitude towards vagueness by his optimism. The new trade-off is between incentive provision and exploitation of heterogeneity that arises endogenously because of the vague environment. Consequently, the optimal contract may distort effort in order to relax incentive compatibility and fully exploit the endogenously created heterogeneity, even when the agent is risk neutral and there is no insurance need in the relationship. (JEL D81, D82, D83, D86, L14)

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Louise Vierø, 2012. "Contracting in Vague Environments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 104-130, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:104-30 Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.2.104
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hrabrin Bachev, 2013. "Risk Management in the Agri-food Sector," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw.
    2. Mingli Zheng & Chong Wang & Chaozheng Li, 2016. "Insurance Contracts with Adverse Selection When the Insurer Has Ambiguity about the Composition of the Consumers," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, pages 179-206.
    3. Marie-Louise Vierø, 2006. "Exactly What Happens After the Anscombe-Aumann Race? Representing Preferences in Vague Environments," Working Papers 1094, Queen's University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • 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
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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