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Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail

  • Watson, Joel

This paper develops a theoretical framework for studying contract and enforcement in setting of complete, but unverifiable, information. The main point of the paper is that the consideration of renegotiation necessitates formal examination of other technological constraints, especially those having to do with the timing and nature of inalienable productive decisions. The main technical contributions include (a) results that characterize of the sets of implementable state-contingent payoffs under various assumptions about renegotiation opportunities, and (b) a result establishing conditions under which, when trading opportunities are durable and trade decisions are reversible, stationary contracts are optimal. The analysis refutes the validity of the "mechanism design with ex post renegotiation" program, it demonstrates the validity of other mechanism design models in dynamic environments, and it highlights the need for a more structured game-theoretic framework.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt18x0r2nn.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt18x0r2nn
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  1. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  2. Thomas P. Lyon & Eric Rasmusen, 2001. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation in Complex Environments," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-118, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
  4. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  5. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 597-625.
  6. Kalai, Ehud & Ledyard, John O., 1998. "Repeated Implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 308-317, December.
  7. Bull Jesse, 2008. "Costly Evidence Production and the Limits of Verifiability," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-28, July.
  8. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
  9. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1863, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and Information Revelation Over Time: The Case of Optimal Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 589-619.
  11. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2003. "Courts of law and unforeseen contingencies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, . "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1004, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  13. Thomas P. Lyon & Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Working Papers 2004-10, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  14. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  15. Roberto Serrano, 2004. "On Watson's Non-Forcing Contracts and Renegotiation," Economics Working Papers 0041, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  16. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  17. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. repec:cdl:ucsdec:qt19p7z2gm is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
  20. Eric Maskin, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38.
  21. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
  22. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
  23. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
  24. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  25. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
  26. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
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