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Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail

  • Joel Watson

This paper develops a theoretical framework for studying contract and enforcement in settings with nondurable trading opportunities and complete but unverifiable information. The framework explicitly accounts for the parties' individual trade actions. The sets of implementable state-contingent payoffs, under various assumptions about renegotiation opportunities, are characterized and compared. The results indicate the benefit of modeling trade actions as individual, rather than as public, and they highlight the usefulness of a structured game-theoretic framework for applied research. Copyright The Econometric Society 2007.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2007.00732.x
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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 75 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 55-81

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:75:y:2007:i:1:p:55-81
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  1. Thomas P. Lyon & Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Working Papers 2004-10, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of incomplete contracts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19354, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2002. "Evidence Disclosure and Verfiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt19p7z2gm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  5. Schwartz, Alan & Watson, Joel, 2001. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2wh8m7bv, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Eric Maskin, 1998. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1829, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  8. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1998. "Implementation and renegotiation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19350, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  10. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9005, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  11. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2003. "Courts of law and unforeseen contingencies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Roberto Serrano, 2004. "On Watson's Non-Forcing Contracts and Renegotiation," Economics Working Papers 0041, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  13. Dewatripont, Mathias, 1989. "Renegotiation and Information Revelation over Time: The Case of Optimal Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 589-619, August.
  14. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-82, March.
  15. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
  16. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Alan Schwartz, 2004. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 2-31, April.
  18. Kalai, Ehud & Ledyard, John, 1997. "Repeated Implementation," Working Papers 1027, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
  20. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
  21. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  22. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  23. Thomas P. Lyon & Eric Rasmusen, 2001. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation in Complex Environments," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-118, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  24. Bull Jesse, 2008. "Costly Evidence Production and the Limits of Verifiability," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, July.
  25. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
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