IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Contracts and Externalities: How Things Fall Apart

Listed author(s):
  • Garance Genicot
  • Debraj Ray

A single principal interacts with several agents, offering them contracts. The crucial assumption of this paper is that the outside-option payoffs of the agents depend positively on how many free agents there are (these are agents who are not under contract). We study how such a principal, unwelcome though he may be, approaches the problem of contract provision to agents when coordination failure among the latter group is explicitly ruled out. Two variants are studied. When the principal cannot re-approach agents, there is a unique equilibrium, in which contract provision is split up into two phases. In phase 1, simultaneous offers at good (though varying)terms are made to a number of agents. In phase 2, offers must be made sequentially, and their values are discontinuously lower: they are close to the very lowest of all the outside options. When the principal can repeatedly approach the same agent, there is a multiplicity of equilibria. In some of these, the agents have the power to force delay. They can hold off the principals overtures temporarily, but they must succumb in finite time. Furthermore, even though the maximal delay does go to infinity as the discount factor approaches one, the (discount-normalized) payoff of the agents must stay below and bounded away from the fully free reservation payoff. It is in this sense that things eventually fall apart as far as the agents are concerned.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.dklevine.com/archive/refs4506439000000000235.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 506439000000000235.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 06 Feb 2003
Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:506439000000000235
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Durham, Yvonne & Hirshleifer, Jack & Smith, Vernon L., 2008. "The Paradox of Power," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  2. Ray, D. & Vohra, R., 1996. "A Theory of Endogenous Coalition Structure," Papers 68, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  3. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1995. "Negative Externalities May Cause Delay in Negotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1321-1335, November.
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 1986. "One Kind of Power," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 259-282, July.
  5. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting with Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388.
  6. Gale, Douglas, 1995. "Dynamic Coordination Games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. Pranab Bardhan, 1991. "On The Concept Of Power In Economics," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 265-277, November.
  8. Rasmusen, Eric B & Ramseyer, J Mark & Wiley, John S, Jr, 1991. "Naked Exclusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1137-1145, December.
  9. Genicot, Garance, 2002. "Bonded labor and serfdom: a paradox of voluntary choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 101-127, February.
  10. Gomes, Armando R & Jehiel, Philippe, 2001. "Dynamic Processes of Social and Economic Interactions: On the Persistence of Inefficiencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jehiel, Philippe & Benny Moldovanu, 1993. "Cyclical Delay in Bargaining with "Externalities"," Discussion Paper Serie B 234, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Network Competition: I. Overview and Nondiscriminatory Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 1-37, Spring.
  13. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1987. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Working papers 442, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-230, March.
  15. Makowski, Louis, 1980. "Perfect competition, the profit criterion, and the organization of economic activity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 222-242, April.
  16. Innes, Robert & Sexton, Richard J, 1994. "Strategic Buyers and Exclusionary Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 566-584, June.
  17. Segal, Ilya, 2003. "Coordination and discrimination in contracting with externalities: divide and conquer?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 147-181, December.
  18. Michael D. Whinston & Ilya R. Segal, 2000. "Naked Exclusion: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 296-309, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:506439000000000235. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.