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Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt18x0r2nn
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  1. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew Postlewaite, 2007. "Courts of Law and Unforeseen Contingencies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 662-684, October.
  5. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  6. Roberto Serrano, 2009. "On Watson's Non-Forcing Contracts and Renegotiation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 2350-2360.
  7. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Kalai, Ehud & Ledyard, John O., 1998. "Repeated Implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 308-317, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
  14. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
  15. Alan Schwartz, 2004. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 2-31, April.
  16. Eric Maskin, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38.
  17. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  18. Thomas P. Lyon, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, April.
  19. 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.
  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. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, "undated". "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.
  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. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  24. 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.
  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.
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