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Optimal contracts in a dynamic costly state verification model

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  • Cyril Monnet

    ()

  • Erwan Quintin

    ()

Abstract

This paper describes optimal contracts in a dynamic costly state verification model with stochastic monitoring. An agent operates a risky project on behalf of a principal who can observe the project’s revenues at a cost. We show that an optimal contract exists such that, at any history, either the principal claims the project’s entire revenues or promises to claim nothing in the future. In particular, the agent’s expected income rises with time. Moreover, except in at most one period, the principal claims all revenues when audit occurs. We provide conditions under which all optimal contracts satisfy these properties. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Cyril Monnet & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Optimal contracts in a dynamic costly state verification model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 867-885, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:26:y:2005:i:4:p:867-885
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-004-0535-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2004. "Aggregate Consequences of Limited Contract Enforceability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 817-847, August.
    2. Chang, Chun, 1990. "The dynamic structure of optimal debt contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 68-86, October.
    3. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    4. Stephen D. Williamson, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-145.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    6. Smith, Bruce D. & Wang, Cheng, 1998. "Repeated insurance relationships in a costly state verification model: With an application to deposit insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 207-240, July.
    7. Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
    8. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    9. Albuquerque, R. & Hopenhayn, H.A., 1997. "Optimal Dynamic Lending Contracts with Imperfect Enforceability," RCER Working Papers 439, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic contracts; Theory of uncertainty and information; Costly state verification; Monitoring.;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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