Social Preferences and Relational Contracting: An Experimental Investigation
The form and regulation of contracts is of increasing importance to agricultural economists as farmers and agribusinesses increasing rely on contracts rather than markets to acquire inputs and sell outputs. We focus on the differences between the joint and individual surplus achievable under complete versus incomplete or relational contracts, where the latter are contracts that are not verifiable by a third party and must rely upon threat of termination in order to entice mutually satisfactory performance. Using an experimental market similar to Brown, Falk, and Fehr [Brown, M., A. Falk, and E. Fehr. Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions, Econometrica, 72 (2004):747-780] we replicate the general results found by these authors, including the qualitative findings that complete contracts dominate incomplete contracts in terms of social surplus generated and that incomplete contracts significantly deviate from the minimal levels of social surplus predicted by equilibrium models featuring purely self-interested agents. We extend the Brown, Falk, and Fehr results in a fundamental way: we explicitly link individual outcomes in relational contracts (e.g, surplus, prices, quality) to the nature of subjects' social preferences, which were measured by a separate experimental protocol that was implemented prior to the experimental trading session. We find subjects with other-regarding preferences enter into relational contracts that generate levels of social surplus similar to the surplus generated under complete contracts. Furthermore, subjects with other-regarding preferences tend to locate others with similar preferences and enter into long-term trading relationships that generate these higher surplus levels. We discuss the ramifications of the results for current regulatory efforts aimed at agricultural contracts.
|Date of creation:||2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998.
"A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, .
"Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys,"
IEW - Working Papers
040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
- David K Levine, 1997.
"Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2047, David K. Levine.
- John List, 2006.
"The behavioralist meets the market: Measuring social preferences and reputation effects in actual transactions,"
Natural Field Experiments
00300, The Field Experiments Website.
- John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
- John A. List, 2005. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," NBER Working Papers 11616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Levin, 2003.
"Relational Incentive Contracts,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985.
"Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation,"
367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1998.
"Gift exchange and reciprocity in competitive experimental markets,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-34, January.
- Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1995. "Gift Exchange and Reciprocity in Competitive Experimental Markets," Economics Series 14, Institute for Advanced Studies.
- Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 2003. "Gift Exchange and Reciprocity in Competitive Experimental Markets," Labor and Demography 0305002, EconWPA.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1998. "Gift exchange and reciprocity in competitive experimental markets," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5909, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000143, David K. Levine.
- Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004.
"Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions,"
Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, 05.
- Brown, Martin & Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2003. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," IZA Discussion Papers 897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19215. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.