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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
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt4242n025
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  1. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont, 1988. "Commitment through renegotiation-proof contacts with third parties," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9569, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. 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.
  6. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1990/215, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  12. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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