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Differential awareness, ambiguity, and incomplete contracts: A model of contractual disputes

Listed author(s):
  • Grant, Simon
  • Kline, J. Jude
  • Quiggin, John

We focus on aspects of differential awareness that give rise to contractual disputes. Parties to a contract are boundedly rational as the state space available to them is coarser than the complete state space. Hence, they may disagree as to which state of the world has occurred, and therefore as to what actions are required by the contract. Such disagreement leads to disputes. We show that the agents may prefer simpler less ambiguous contracts when facing potential disputes.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268112000443
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 82 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 494-504

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:82:y:2012:i:2:p:494-504
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.02.021
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2013. "Dynamic unawareness and rationalizable behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 50-68.
  2. Simon Grant & John Quiggin, 2013. "Inductive reasoning about unawareness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 717-755, November.
  3. Kim-Sau Chung & Oliver Board, 2007. "Object-Based Unawareness," Working Papers 2007-2, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, revised 24 Aug 2007.
  4. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
  5. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 883-904.
  6. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
  7. Grant, Simon & Kajii, Atsushi, 1995. "A Cardinal Characterization of the Rubinstein-Safra-Thomson Axiomatic Bargaining Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1241-1249, September.
  8. Grant, Simon & Kline, J. Jude & Quiggin, John, 2014. "A matter of interpretation: Ambiguous contracts and liquidated damages," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 180-187.
  9. Halpern, Joseph Y. & Rego, Leandro Chaves, 2008. "Interactive unawareness revisited," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 232-262, January.
  10. Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-1231, December.
  11. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2006. "Interactive unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 78-94, September.
  12. repec:pit:wpaper:378 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. repec:ecl:ucdeco:09-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Chew Soo Hong & Jacob S. Sagi, 2006. "Event Exchangeability: Probabilistic Sophistication Without Continuity or Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 771-786, 05.
  15. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
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