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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt18x0r2nn
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  1. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "Sequential investments and options to own," Munich Reprints in Economics 19327, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean., 1988. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Working Papers 665, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Eric Maskin, 1998. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1829, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1995. "Option contracts and renegotiation: A solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Munich Reprints in Economics 19329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Luca Anderlini, Leonardo Felli & Andrew Postlewaite, 2003. "Courts of Law and Unforeseen Contingencies," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-26, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1998. "Implementation and renegotiation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19350, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  11. Roberto Serrano, 2004. "On Watson’s Non-Forcing Contracts and Renegotiation," Working Papers 2004-03, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  13. Ehud Kalai & John O. Ledyard, 1997. "Repeated Implementation," Discussion Papers 1205, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  18. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and information revelation over time: the case of optimal labor contacts," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9573, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
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