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Product Warranties and Double Moral Hazard

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  • Russell Cooper
  • Thomas W. Ross

Abstract

This article explores a model of warranties in which moral hazard problems play a key role. The goal is to understand the important characteristics of warranties, including their provision of incomplete insurance and the relationship between product quality and coverage. We analyze a model in which buyers and sellers take actions that affect a product's performance. Since these actions are not cooperatively determined, an incentives problem arises. We characterize the optimal warranty contract and undertake comparative statics to determine the predicted correlation of warranty coverage and product quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Cooper & Thomas W. Ross, 1985. "Product Warranties and Double Moral Hazard," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 103-113, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:16:y:1985:i:spring:p:103-113
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    1. Kenneth L. Judd, 2003. "Closed-loop equilibrium in a multi-stage innovation race," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 673-695, March.
    2. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-293, June.
    3. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
    4. Christopher Harris & John Vickers, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
    6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1971. "Optimal Management of a Research and Development Project," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(11), pages 679-697, July.
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