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Progressive Screening: Long-Term Contracting with a Privately Known Stochastic Process

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  • Raphael Boleslavsky
  • Maher Said

Abstract

We examine a model of long-term contracting in which the buyer is privately informed about the stochastic process by which her value for a good evolves. In addition, the realized values are also private information. We characterize a class of environments in which the profit-maximizing long-term contract offered by a monopolist takes an especially simple structure: we derive sufficient conditions on primitives under which the optimal contract consists of a menu of deterministic sequences of static contracts. Within each sequence, higher realized values lead to greater quantity provision; however, an increasing proportion of buyer types are excluded over time, eventually leading to inefficiently early termination of the relationship. Moreover, the menu choices differ by future generosity, with more costly (up front) plans guaranteeing greater quantity provision in the future. Thus, the seller screens process information in the initial period and then progressively screens across realized values so as to reduce the information rents paid in future periods. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Boleslavsky & Maher Said, 2013. "Progressive Screening: Long-Term Contracting with a Privately Known Stochastic Process," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:1:p:1-34
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rds021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 2000. "Sequential Screening," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717.
    2. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
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    7. Besanko, David, 1985. "Multi-period contracts between principal and agent with adverse selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 33-37.
    8. Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Long-Term Contracting in a Changing World," Discussion Papers 1456, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Simon Board & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2016. "Revenue Management with Forward-Looking Buyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1046-1087.
    10. Marco Battaglini, 2005. "Long-Term Contracting with Markovian Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 637-658, June.
    11. Krähmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2010. "Optimal Procurement Contracts with Pre–Project Planning," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 303, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Krähmer & Roland Strausz, 2015. "Optimal Sales Contracts with Withdrawal Rights," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 762-790.
    2. Bergemann, Dirk & Strack, Philipp, 2015. "Dynamic revenue maximization: A continuous time approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 819-853.
    3. Krähmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2013. "Ex post information rents and disclosure in sequential screening," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 406, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. Hao Li & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Discriminatory Information Disclosure," Working Papers tecipa-497, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Deb, Rahul & Said, Maher, 2015. "Dynamic screening with limited commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 891-928.
    6. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:595-612 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Krähmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2015. "Ex post information rents in sequential screening," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 257-273.
    8. Bergemann, Dirk & Pavan, Alessandro, 2015. "Introduction to Symposium on Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 679-701.
    9. repec:spr:jogath:v:46:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00182-016-0552-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Andrzej Skrzypacz & Juuso Toikka, 2015. "Mechanisms for Repeated Trade," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 252-293, November.
    11. Litterscheid, Sina & Szalay, Dezsö, 2014. "Sequential, multidimensional screening," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100621, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Terstiege, Stefan, 2016. "Gathering imperfect information before signing a contract," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 70-87.
    13. Terstiege, Stefan, 2013. "Precontractual Investigation and Sequential Screening," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 429, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    14. Garrett, Daniel F., 2017. "Dynamic mechanism design: Dynamic arrivals and changing values," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 595-612.
    15. Boleslavsky, Raphael & Lewis, Tracy R., 2016. "Evolving influence: Mitigating extreme conflicts of interest in advisory relationships," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 110-134.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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