IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Competitive Markets without Commitment


  • Nick Netzer
  • Florian Scheuer


In the presence of a time-inconsistency problem with agency contracts, we show that competitive markets can implement allocations that Pareto-dominate those achieved by a benevolent government, and they induce more effort. We analyze a model with moral hazard and a two-sided lack of commitment. After agents have chosen their work, firms can modify contracts and agents can switch firms. If the ex post market outcome satisfies a weak notion of competitiveness and sufficiently separates individuals, it is Pareto superior to a government's allocation with a complete breakdown of incentives. Moreover, competitive markets without commitment implement more effort in equilibrium under general conditions.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000462,
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:814577000000000462

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: brief review and links to paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079-1109.
    3. W. Henry Chiu & Edi Karni, 1998. "Endogenous Adverse Selection and Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 806-827, August.
    4. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    5. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and information revelation over time: the case of optimal labor contacts," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9573, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Asheim, Geir B. & Nilssen, Tore, 1996. "Non-discriminating renegotiation in a competitive insurance market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1717-1736, December.
    7. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Investment in Education and the Time Inconsistency of Redistributive Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 171-189, May.
    8. Dhaval Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2009. "Health insurance and ex ante moral hazard: evidence from Medicare," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 367-390, December.
    9. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and Information Revelation Over Time: The Case of Optimal Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 589-619.
    10. Stulz, Rene, 2010. "Credit default Swaps and the Credit Crisis," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 157-175.
    11. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/071, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
    2. Wanda Mimra & Achim Wambach, 2011. "A Game-Theoretic Foundation for the Wilson Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 3412, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Florian Scheuer & Alexander Wolitzky, 2016. "Capital Taxation under Political Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2304-2328, August.
    4. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2010. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Moral Hazard When the Agent is Free to Leave," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 329, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    5. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079-1109.
    6. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.
    7. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive screening in insurance markets with endogenous wealth heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(2), pages 187-211, August.
    8. Englmaier, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2014. "Optimal incentive contracts for knowledge workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 82-106.
    9. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2014. "A Game Theoretic Foundation Of Competitive Equilibria With Adverse Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 399-422, May.
    10. Benito Arruñada & Giorgio Zanarone & Nuno Garoupa, 2017. "Property Rights in Sequential Exchange," Working Papers 1005, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    11. Jenny Simon, 2011. "Financial Markets as a Commitment Device for the Government," 2011 Meeting Papers 447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Gemmo, Irina & Browne, Mark J. & Gründl, Helmut, 2017. "Transparency aversion and insurance market equilibria," ICIR Working Paper Series 25/17, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    13. Ariel Zetlin-Jones, "undated". "Efficient Financial Crises," GSIA Working Papers 2014-E19, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    14. Yiqing Xing & Anqi Li, 2014. "Simple Labor Income Tax Systems with Endogenous Employment Contracts," 2014 Meeting Papers 866, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Maurus Rischatsch, 2009. "Simulating WTP Values from Random-Coefficient Models," SOI - Working Papers 0912, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    16. Maurus Rischatsch & Maria Trottmann, 2009. "Physician dispensing and the choice between generic and brand-name drugs – Do margins affect choice?," SOI - Working Papers 0911, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    17. John Hatfield & Fuhito Kojima & Yusuke Narita, 2012. "Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach," Discussion Papers 12-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    18. Benito Arruñada & Giorgio Zanarone & Nuno Garoupa, 2017. "Property rights in sequential exchange," Economics Working Papers 1588, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:814577000000000462. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.