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Relational Contracts and Property Rights

  • Blonski, Matthias
  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

We propose a general framework for analyzing and comparing ownership structures with respect to creating incentives for co-operative behavior (e.g. efficient investment) in long-run relationships. We generalize models by Garvey (1995), Halonen (2002), and Baker, Gibbons and Murphy (2002) and compare their results in the light of our theory, going in depth into the issue of renegotiation of ownership and strategies. We show that when agents are not restricted in their strategy choice, the short–term efficient ownership structure identified by Hart and Moore (1990) is not relational efficient — i.e. does not maximize the set of discount factors under which efficient investment can be supported in equilibrium of the repeated game. Moreover, the relational efficient ownership structure is independent of what can be renegotiated: ownership, strategies, both or none.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3460.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3460
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  1. Asheim, Geir B., 1991. "Extending renegotiation-proofness to infinite horizon games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 278-294, August.
  2. Joseph Farrell and Eric Maskin., 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Economics Working Papers 8759, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, . "Contractual Incompleteness and the Nature of Market Interactions," IEW - Working Papers 038, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Chiu, Y Stephen, 1998. "Noncooperative Bargaining, Hostages, and Optimal Asset Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 882-901, September.
  7. van Damme,Eric, 1986. "Renegotiation-proof equilibria in repeated Prisoner`s dilemma," Discussion Paper Serie A 84, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Stephanie Rosenkranz & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2004. "Joint Ownership And Incomplete Contracts: The Case Of Perfectly Substitutable Investments," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 56(1), pages 72-89, January.
  9. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 1989. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 198, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  10. David De Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386, May.
  11. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Blonski, Matthias, 2001. "Prisoners' Other Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 437, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 20 Feb 2001.
  13. Jonathan Levin, 2000. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 01002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  14. Taylor, Curtis R & Wiggins, Steven N, 1997. "Competition or Compensation: Supplier Incentives under the American and Japanese Subcontracting Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 598-618, September.
  15. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  16. David G. Pearce, 1987. "Renegotiation-Proof Equilibria: Collective Rationality and Intertemporal Cooperation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 855, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
  18. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  19. Garvey, Gerald T., 1995. "Why reputation favors joint ventures over vertical and horizontal integration A simple model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-397, December.
  20. MacLeod, B.W. & Bergin, J., 1991. "Efficiency and Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Cahiers de recherche 9118, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  21. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation-proof equilibrium: Reply," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 376-378, December.
  22. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  23. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  24. Segerstrom, Paul S., 1988. "Demons and repentance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 32-52, June.
  25. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  26. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2001. "Bringing the Market inside the Firm?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 212-218, May.
  27. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
  28. Abrea Dilip & Pearce David & Stacchetti Ennio, 1993. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 217-240, August.
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