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Relational Contracts and Competitive Screening

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  • Calzolari, Giacomo
  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

Abstract

We study the tension between competitive screening and contract enforcement where a principal trades repeatedly with one among several agents, moral hazard and adverse selection coexist, and non-contractible dimensions are governed by relational contracting. We simultaneously characterize optimal relational contracts and competitive screening policies which are interdependent. When non-contractible dimensions are important, the principal optimally restricts competitive screening to a subset of 'loyal' agents, giving up performance bonuses and, when such dimensions are crucial, negotiates an indefinitely renewable contract with one agent. To enhance enforcement, explicit contract duration is also reduced. However, these policies facilitate collusion among agents, which induces an additional trade-off between reputational forces and collusion. When non-contractible dimensions are very important this last trade-off may disappear, as collusion allows more efficient enforcement of better performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Calzolari, Giacomo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2009. "Relational Contracts and Competitive Screening," CEPR Discussion Papers 7434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7434
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2014. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100599, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Decio Coviello & Andrea Guglielmo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2015. "The Effect of Discretion on Procurement Performance," CEIS Research Paper 361, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 17 Nov 2015.
    3. Griessmair, Michele & Hussain, Dildar & Windsperger, Josef, 2014. "Trust and the tendency towards multi-unit franchising: A relational governance view," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 2337-2345.
    4. Joyee Deb & Jin Li & Arijit Mukherjee, 2015. "Relational Contracts with Subjective Peer Evaluations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1995, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. repec:wfo:wstudy:59256 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cesi Berardino & Iozzi Alberto & Valentini Edilio, 2012. "Regulating Unverifiable Quality by Fixed-Price Contracts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-39, September.
    7. Jeffrey V. Butler & Enrica Carbone & Pierluigi Conzo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2012. "Reputation and Entry," EIEF Working Papers Series 1215, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Nov 2012.
    8. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2015. "Procurement with Unenforceable Contract Time and the Law of Liquidated Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 160-186.
    9. Felli, Leonardo & Koenen, Johannes & Stahl, Konrad O., 2011. "Competition and trust: Evidence from German car manufacturers," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2012. "Reputation, competition, and entry in procurement," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 291-296.
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0254 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Fahn, Matthias & Hadjer, Tahmina, 2015. "Optimal contracting with private military and security companies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 220-240.
    13. James M. Malcomson, 2012. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    14. Brosig, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo, 2011. "Reputation and Mechanism Choice in Procurement Auctions – An Experiment," Ruhr Economic Papers 254, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    15. Bergman, Mats A. & Johansson, Per & Lundberg, Sofia & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2016. "Privatization and quality: Evidence from elderly care in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 109-119.
    16. Jeanette Brosig & Timo Heinrich, 2011. "Reputation and Mechanism Choice in Procurement Auctions – An Experiment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0254, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2017. "Cost Uncertainty and Time Overruns in Public Procurement: a Scoring Auction for a Contract with Delay Penalties," Working Papers 2017.02, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    18. Simon Board, 2011. "Relational Contracts and the Value of Loyalty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3349-3367, December.
    19. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:52-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Rosar, Frank & Mueller, Florian, 2015. "Negotiating cultures in corporate procurement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 259-280.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; collusion; contract duration; efficiency wages; implicit and incomplete contracts; Limited enforcement; Loyalty; Multi-tasking; Negotiation; Non-contractible quality; Performance bonus; Procurement; Relational contracts; Reputation; Screening;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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