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The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation

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  • Watson, Joel
  • Brennan, Jim

Abstract

We study contracting and costly renegotiation in settings of complete but unverifiable information, using the mechanism-design approach. We show how renegotiation activity is best modelled in the fundamentals of the mechanism-design framework, so that noncontractibility of renegotiation amounts to a constraint on the problem. We formalize and clarify the Renegotiation-Proofness Principle (RPP), which states that any state-contingent payoff vector that is implementable in an environment with renegotiation can also be implemented by a mechanism in which renegotiation does not occur in equilibrium. We observe that the RPP is not generally valid. However, we prove a general monotonicity result that confirms the RPP's "renegotiation is bad" message. Our monotonicity theorem establishes that the set of implementable state-contingent payoffs increases with the costs of renegotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Watson, Joel & Brennan, Jim, 2002. "The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4242n025, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt4242n025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. Watson, Joel & Buzard, Kristy, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
    4. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1992. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 600-614, June.
    5. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
    6. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    7. 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.
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    10. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
    11. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    12. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    13. 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.
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    15. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
    16. Eric Maskin, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38.
    17. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 509-540.
    18. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    19. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-932, September.
    20. 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.
    21. Watson, Joel & Buzard, Kristy, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
    22. Schwartz, Alan & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Economic and Legal Aspects of Costly Recontracting," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4jr3g3h7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Evelyn Korn & Stephan Meisenzahl, 2009. "Contracting still matters! Or: How to design a letter of intent," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200909, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Joel Watson, 2013. "Contract and Game Theory: Basic Concepts for Settings with Finite Horizons," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-40, August.
    3. repec:inu:caeprp:2014004 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2004. "Evidence disclosure and verifiability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-31, September.
    5. Mostafa Beshkar, 2014. "Arbitration and Renegotiation in Trade Agreements," Caepr Working Papers 2014-004, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    6. Florin c{S}abac, 2007. "Dynamic Agency with Renegotiation and Managerial Tenure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(5), pages 849-864, May.
    7. Watson, Joel, 2006. "Contract and Mechanism Design in Settings with Multi-Period Trade," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt63s1s3j6, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    renegotiation; contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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