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Bertrand and Walras Equilibria Under Moral Hazard

  • Alberto Bennardo
  • Pierre-Andre Chiappori

We consider a simple model of competition under moral hazard with constant return technologies. We consider preferences that are not separable in effort: marginal utility of income is assumed to increase with leisure, especially for high-income levels. We show that, in this context, Bertrand competition may result in positive equilibrium profit. This result holds for purely idiosyncratic shocks when only deterministic contracts are considered, and extends to unrestricted contract spaces in the presence of aggregate uncertainty. Finally, these findings have important consequences upon the definition of an equilibrium. We show that, in this context, a Walrasian general equilibrium a la Prescott-Townsend may fail to exist: any 'equilibrium' must involve rationing.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 618897000000000748.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:618897000000000748
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  1. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  2. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. " The Basic Analytics of Moral Hazard," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 383-413.
  3. Bisin, Alberto & Guaitoli, Danilo, 1998. "Moral Hazard and Non-Exclusive Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1987, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Helpman, Elhanan & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1975. "On moral hazard in general equilibrium theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 8-23, February.
  5. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
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  7. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
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  9. Dreze, Jacques H, 1975. "Existence of an Exchange Equilibrium under Price Rigidities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 301-20, June.
  10. Richard Arnott & Joseph E Stiglitz, 2010. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2054, David K. Levine.
  11. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
  12. Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 2010. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria With Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2069, David K. Levine.
  13. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  14. Arnott, R. & Stiglitz, J., 1994. "Price Equilibrium, Efficiency, and Decentralizability in Insurance Markets with Moral Hazard," Papers 05, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  15. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  16. Edward Simpson Prescott & Robert M. Townsend, 1996. "Theory of the firm: applied mechanism design," Working Paper 96-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Gjesdal, Froystein, 1982. "Information and Incentives: The Agency Information Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 373-90, July.
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