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The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation

  • Watson, Joel
  • Brennan, Jim

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.

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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 qt4242n025.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt4242n025
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  1. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  2. Schwartz, Alan & Watson, Joel, 2001. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2wh8m7bv, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 215, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Thomson, William, 1987. "Monotonicity of bargaining solutions with respect to the disagreement point," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 50-58, June.
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  7. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-82, March.
  8. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1863, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  13. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-38, March.
  15. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2002. "Evidence Disclosure and Verfiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt19p7z2gm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  16. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, 2000. "Economic and Legal Aspects of Costly Recontracting," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm143, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jan 2001.
  17. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  18. Maskin, Eric, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38, January.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-32, September.
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  23. 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 233-61, October.
  24. 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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