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Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect


  • Xavier Freixas
  • Roger Guesnerie
  • Jean Tirole


Central planning of production is usually performed under asymmetric information which leads to use of an incentive scheme. As the planner revises the scheme over time to take into account information provided by the firm's performance, this induces firms to underproduce to avoid more demanding schedules in the future—the ratchet effect. This paper explores this phenomenon under the realistic assumption that the planner cannot commit himself to a revision procedure. We show that the ratchet effect exists, in the sense that the planner may choose a scheme which is suboptimal from a static viewpoint in order to induce revelation, with the marginal price of output exceeding its optimal static value.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:52:y:1985:i:2:p:173-191.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    3. Michael Sattinger, 1984. "Value of an Additional Firm in Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 321-332.
    4. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
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