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Contract and Game Theory: Basic Concepts for Settings with Finite Horizons

Listed author(s):
  • Joel Watson

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0508, USA)

This paper examines a general model of contract in multi-period settings with both external and self-enforcement. In the model, players alternately engage in contract negotiation and take individual actions. A notion of contractual equilibrium, which combines a bargaining solution and individual incentive constraints, is proposed and analyzed. The modeling framework helps identify the relation between the manner in which players negotiate and the outcome of the long-term contractual relationship. In particular, the model shows the importance of accounting for the self-enforced component of contract in the negotiation process. Examples and guidance for applications are provided, along with existence results and a result on a monotone relation between “activeness of contracting” and contractual equilibrium values.

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Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 4 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 1-40

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:4:y:2013:i:3:p:457-496:d:28184
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

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  1. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
  2. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "The interaction of explicit and implicit contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 193-199, May.
  3. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  4. Rabin Matthew, 1994. "A Model of Pre-game Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 370-391, August.
  5. Watson, Joel & Buzard, Kristy, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
  6. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  7. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  8. Ken Binmore & Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "The Nash Bargaining Solution in Economic Modelling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, Summer.
  9. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 2002. "Contractual Intermediaries," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 362-384, October.
  10. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
  11. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
  12. 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.
  13. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 597-625.
  14. Klimenko, Mikhail & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2008. "Recurrent trade agreements and the value of external enforcement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 475-499, March.
  15. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1993. "Renegotiation in Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(2), pages 303-323, March.
  16. Ramey Garey & Watson Joel, 2001. "Bilateral Trade and Opportunism in a Matching Market," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-35, November.
  17. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2007. "Hard evidence and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 75-93, January.
  18. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  19. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-932, September.
  20. Roth, David, 1996. "A Theory of Partnership Dynamics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 95-112, January.
  21. Watson, Joel & Buzard, Kristy, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
  22. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  23. 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.
  24. Santos, Vasco, 2000. "Alternating-announcements cheap talk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 405-416, July.
  25. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
  26. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
  27. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and Information Revelation Over Time: The Case of Optimal Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 589-619.
  28. James R. Brennan & Joel Watson, 2013. "The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-20, July.
  29. Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1998. "The Interaction of Implicit and Explicit Contracts in Repeated Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-96, April.
  30. Telser, L G, 1980. "A Theory of Self-enforcing Agreements," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-44, January.
  31. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
  32. 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.
  33. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
  34. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, "undated". "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1004, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  35. Arvan, Lanny & Cabral, Luis & Santos, Vasco, 1999. "Meaningful cheap talk must improve equilibrium payoffs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 97-106, January.
  36. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
  37. David A. Miller & Joel Watson, 2013. "A Theory of Disagreement in Repeated Games With Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2303-2350, November.
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