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Commitment and observability in a contracting environment

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  • Bhaskar, V.

Abstract

This paper examines leader-follower games where a leader must purchase an essential input from a price-setting supplier in order to take an action. We show that equilibrium outcomes when the followers perfectly observe the leaders' actions cannot be approximated by mixed equilibrium outcomes of the game where followers imperfectly observe the leaders' actions, i.e. they are not accessible. Accessibility fails since in a pure strategy equilibrium, a supplier makes positive profits; however in an equilibrium where a leader randomizes, supplier profits must be zero. Our result follows from a generalized indifference principle that mixed strategies must satisfy in economic environments. While supplier profits cannot be approximated, player action profiles are accessible. Our results also apply to games with costly observation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhaskar, V., 2009. "Commitment and observability in a contracting environment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 708-720, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:708-720
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
    2. Bhaskar, V. & van Damme, Eric, 2002. "Moral Hazard and Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 16-39, January.
    3. Guth, Werner & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1998. "Imperfectly Observable Commitments inn-Player Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 54-74, April.
    4. Morgan, John & Vardy, Felix, 2007. "The value of commitment in contests and tournaments when observation is costly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 326-338, August.
    5. van Damme, Eric & Hurkens, Sjaak, 1997. "Games with Imperfectly Observable Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 282-308, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhaskar, Venkataraman, 2013. "Dynamic Countervailing Power under Public and Private Monitoring," CEPR Discussion Papers 9526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:19:y:2017:i:02:n:s0219198917500086 is not listed on IDEAS

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