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Should Contractual Clauses that Forbid Renegotiation Always be Enforced?

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  • Patrick W. Schmitz

Abstract

Recent work in the field of mechanism design has led some researchers to propose institutional changes that would permit parties to enter into nonmodifiable contracts, which is not possible under current contract law. This article demonstrates that it may well be socially desirable not to enforce contractual terms that explicitly prevent renegotiation, even if rational and symmetrically informed parties have deliberately signed such a contract. The impossibility to prevent renegotiation can constrain the principal's abilities to introduce distortions in order to reduce the agent's rent, so that the first-best benchmark solution will more often be attained. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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  • Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Should Contractual Clauses that Forbid Renegotiation Always be Enforced?," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 315-329, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:21:y:2005:i:2:p:315-329
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 807-816, September.
    2. Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2015. "Overdeterrence of repeat offenders when penalties for first-time offenders are restricted," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 116-120.
    3. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
    4. Grosskopf Ofer & Medina Barak, 2007. "Rationalizing Drennan: On Irrevocable Offers, Bid Shopping and Binding Range," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 321-361, August.
    5. repec:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:2:p:295-311 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Matthias Kräkel, 2017. "Authority and Incentives in Organizations," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(2), pages 295-311, April.
    7. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 318-336, Summer.
    8. Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2015. "Merger efficiency and managerial incentives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 51-63.
    9. Matthias Kräkel, 2016. "Human Capital Investment and Work Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 627-651, September.
    10. Kräkel, Matthias, 2013. "Authority and Incentives in Organizations," IZA Discussion Papers 7271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Matthias Kräkel & Daniel Müller, 2014. "Merger Performance and Managerial Incentives," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse02_2014, University of Bonn, Germany.
    12. Kräkel, Matthias & Schöttner, Anja, 2016. "Optimal sales force compensation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 179-195.
    13. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "On contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," MPRA Paper 23157, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2013. "Bad Mergers Revisited: An Incentive Perspective," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79914, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Daniel Müller & Philipp Weinschenk, 2015. "Rater Bias and Incentive Provision," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 833-862, October.

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    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law

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