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On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting

This paper studies the exchange of information between two principals who contract sequentially with the same agent, as in the case of a buyer who purchases from multiple sellers. We show that when (a) the upstream principal is not personally interested in the downstream level of trade, (b) the agent’s valuations are positively correlated, and (c) preferences in the downstream relationship are separable, then it is optimal for the upstream principal to offer the agent full privacy. On the contrary, when any of these conditions is violated, there exist preferences for which disclosure is strictly optimal, even if the downstream principal does not pay for the information. We also examine the effects of disclosure on welfare and show that it does not necessarily reduce the agent’s surplus in the two relationships and in some cases may even yield a Pareto improvement. The paper describes this condition and its implications.

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File URL: http://faculty.econ.nwu.edu/faculty/pavan/privacy.pdf
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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Theory workshop papers with number 658612000000000067.

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Date of creation: 15 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclatw:658612000000000067
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  1. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  2. Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 1997. "Endogenous Communication among Lenders and Entrepreneurial Incentives," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(1), pages 205-36.
  3. Helmut Bester & Roland Strausz, . "Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle," Papers 004, Departmental Working Papers.
  4. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2003. "Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 757-791, 05.
  5. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
  6. Larry Epstein & Michael Peters, 1996. "A Revelation Principle For Competing Mechanisms," Working Papers peters-96-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2002. "Informational Externalities in Settlement Bargaining: Confidentiality and Correlated Culpability," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 587-604, Winter.
  8. Peters, Michael, 2001. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1349-72, September.
  9. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  10. Martimort David & Stole Lars, 2003. "Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, July.
  11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  12. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. " Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
  13. Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
  14. Dirk & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1206, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Prat, A. & Rustichini, A., 1998. "Sequential Common Agency," Discussion Paper 1998-95, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
  17. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9005, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  18. Martimort, David, 1992. "Multi-Principaux avec Anti-Sélection," IDEI Working Papers 14, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  19. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2002. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1659-1673, July.
  20. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  21. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal: The Case of Private Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 379-409, March.
  22. Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12664, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  23. Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2003. "Monopoly with Resale," Working Papers 2003.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    • Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "Monopoly with Resale," Discussion Papers 1405, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    • Giacomo Calzolari & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Monopoly with Resale," Discussion Papers 1393, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  24. Taylor, Curtis R., 2003. "Privacy in Competitive Markets," Working Papers 03-10, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  25. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, March.
  26. Martimort, David, 1999. "Renegotiation Design with Multiple Regulators," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 261-293, October.
  27. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  28. repec:adr:anecst:y:1992:i:28:p:01 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Haile, Philip A., 2003. "Auctions with private uncertainty and resale opportunities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 72-110, January.
  30. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting with Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388.
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