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Contractual Intermediaries

  • Garey Ramey

    (Dept. Economics, UCLA, San Diego)

  • Joel Watson

This paper analyzes the role of third party intermediaries, such as courts and arbitrators, in contract enforcement. In our model, intermediaries compel contracted transfers and resolve disputes when requested to do so by the contracting agents. When the verifiability of information is limited, successful enforcement requires that dispute resolution costs be sufficiently great. Optimal enforcement systems economize on dispute resolution and information costs, and may involve establishment of specific systems tailored to particular groups. We show further that the "holdup problem" may be resolved via an appropriately designed dispute resolution system.

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File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d12/d1235.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1235.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (October 2002), 18: 362-384
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1235
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Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Liquidity Flows and Fragility of Business Enterprises," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2kc182ts, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
  5. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  6. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Shavell, Steven, 1995. "Alternative Dispute Resolution: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
  9. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," NBER Working Papers 6972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  12. Blume, A., 1991. "Intra-Play Communication in Repeated Games," Working Papers 91-29, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  13. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-50, April.
  14. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Job destruction and the experiences of displaced workers," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 87-128, June.
  15. Steven Shavell, 1989. "Sharing of Information Prior to Settlement or Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 183-195, Summer.
  16. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
  17. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  18. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  19. Summers, Lawrence H. & Dickens, William T. & Katz, Lawrence F. & Lang, Kevin, 1989. "Employee Crime and the Monitoring Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 3645199, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Aaron S. Edlin & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," NBER Working Papers 5007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
  22. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  23. Bendor, Jonathan & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1990. "Norms, Third-Party Sanctions, and Cooperation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 33-63, Spring.
  24. Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2000. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5zd216tw, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  25. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  26. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1994. "An Economic Model of Legal Discovery," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 435-63, January.
  27. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  28. Kennan, John, 1979. "Bonding and the enforcement of labor contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 61-66.
  29. 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.
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