Strategic Effects of Renegotiation-Proof Contracts
It is well known that non-renegotiable contracts with third parties may have an effect on the outcome of a strategic interaction and thus serve as a commitment device. We address this issue when contracts are renegotiable. More precisely, we analyze the equilibrium outcomes of two-stage games with renegotiation-proof third-party contracts in relation to the equilibrium outcomes of the same game without contracts. We assume that one of the parties in the contractual relationship is unable to observe everything that happens in the game when played by the other party. We first show that when contracts are non-renegotiable, the set of equilibrium outcomes of the game with contracts is restricted to a subset of Nash equilibrium outcomes of the original game. Introducing renegotiation, in general, imposes further constraints and in some games implies that only subgame perfect equilibrium outcomes of the original game can be supported. However, there is a large class of games in which non-subgame perfect equilibrium outcomes can also be supported, and hence, third-party contracts still have strategic implications even when they are renegotiable.
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Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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