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A Didactic Example of Linear (Multidimensional) Screening Contracts

  • Ludovic Renou

    (Department of Economics, European University Institute, Italy and Economics Division, University of Southampton, U.K.)

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    This short paper proposes a didactic example on how to solve a multidimensional screening problem in the linear case. In the proposed example, shareholders of a cash-constrained firm propose to the firm management a recapitalization in counterpart of the distribution of future dividends. The capacity of the firm to distribute future dividends depends on its production costs and its technology, which are private information of the management. Thus shareholders face a (multidimensional) screening problem. We completely characterize the optimal menus of contracts that shareholders offer. Notably, we show that there always exist optimal menus of contracts with at most two contracts offered: a low dividend, low recapitalization contract and a high dividend, high recapitalization contract. This is an extreme case of bunching.

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    Article provided by College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan in its journal International Journal of Business and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 245-261

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    Handle: RePEc:ijb:journl:v:2:y:2003:i:3:p:245-261
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    1. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1988. "Multidimensional incentive compatibility and mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 335-354, December.
    3. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
    4. Rochet, J. C., 1985. "The taxation principle and multi-time Hamilton-Jacobi equations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 113-128, April.
    5. Basov, Suren, 2001. "Hamiltonian approach to multi-dimensional screening," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 77-94, September.
    6. Carlier, Guillaume, 2001. "A general existence result for the principal-agent problem with adverse selection," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 129-150, February.
    7. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1987. "A necessary and sufficient condition for rationalizability in a quasi-linear context," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 191-200, April.
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