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Relational Contracting in Partnerships

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  • Katherine Doornik

Abstract

"When performance is not verifiable, firms in a long-term relationship may rely on incentive contracts that are self-enforced or "relational." This paper studies the optimal design and performance of relational contracts in partnerships such as joint ventures or buyer-seller alliances. Optimal contracts look the same in each period as long as the relationship continues, but may require termination of the relationship after bad outcomes. Payments between the partners depend on their relative performance. In the special case of bilateral trade with specific investments, optimal relational contracting results in a price that varies with cost and demand conditions but is more stable than under spot market bargaining. Parallels are drawn with "Japanese style" subcontracting." Copyright 2006, The Author(s) Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Blackwell Publishing.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Doornik, 2006. "Relational Contracting in Partnerships," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 517-548, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:517-548
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan P Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2007. "Dynamic Relational Contracts with Consumption Constraints," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2007/16, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
    2. Goldlücke, Susanne & Kranz, Sebastian, 2013. "Renegotiation-proof relational contracts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 157-178.
    3. Goldlücke, Susanne & Kranz, Sebastian, 2012. "Infinitely repeated games with public monitoring and monetary transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1191-1221.
    4. Sebastian Kranz, 2012. "Discounted Stochastic Games with Voluntary Transfers," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000423, David K. Levine.
    5. Erica L. Plambeck & Terry A. Taylor, 2006. "Partnership in a Dynamic Production System with Unobservable Actions and Noncontractible Output," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1509-1527, October.
    6. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:3:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602560 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. James M. Malcomson, 2012. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    8. Kranz, Sebastian & Ohlendorf, Susanne, 2009. "Renegotiation-Proof Relational Contracts with Side Payments," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 259, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    9. David A. Miller & Joel Watson, 2013. "A Theory of Disagreement in Repeated Games With Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2303-2350, November.
    10. Goldlücke, Susanne & Kranz, Sebastian, 2012. "Delegation, monitoring, and relational contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 405-407.
    11. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2014. "Dynamic Relational Contracts under Complete Information," ESE Discussion Papers 253, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.

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