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Evidence disclosure and verifiability

  • Bull, Jesse
  • Watson, Joel

We explore the conceptual basis of "verifiability" by explicitly modeling the process of evidence production in contractual relationships of complete information. Evidence is represented by documents, on the submission of which an enforcement authority conditions transfers between the contracting parties. Our analysis includes the opportunity for parties to engage in side-dealing and renegotiation during the enforcement phase. The central contracting problem involves determining whether a contract can be designed to induce given transfers as a function of the outcome of productive interaction. We study how this objective is constrained by the need to motivate parties to disclose documents during the enforcement phase. We prove the Full Disclosure Principle, justifying constraining attention to equilibria in which all documents are disclosed in every contingency. We also obtain insights on the implications of "positive" and "negative" evidence and we briefly discuss the relevance of our results to the design of legal institutions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 118 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:118:y:2004:i:1:p:1-31
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  2. Lipman Barton L. & Seppi Duane J., 1995. "Robust Inference in Communication Games with Partial Provability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 370-405, August.
  3. Watson, Joel & Bull, Jesse, 2006. "Hard Evidence and Mechanism Design," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7973v805, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Evidence Disclosure and Verifiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6th0060j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  5. 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.
  6. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1994. "An Economic Model of Legal Discovery," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 435-63, January.
  7. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  8. Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47, January.
  9. Watson, Joel & Brennan, Jim, 2002. "The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4242n025, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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