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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  4. Blume Andreas, 1994. "Intraplay Communication in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 181-211, March.
  5. Aaron S. Edlin & Stefan Reichelstein, 1995. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," NBER Working Papers 5007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Job Destruction and the Experiences of Displaced Workers," NBER Working Papers 7218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  17. 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.
  18. Wouter J. Den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-theoretic approaches to wages and displacement," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-68.
  19. 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.
  20. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  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. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
  24. Kennan, John, 1979. "Bonding and the enforcement of labor contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 61-66.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  28. 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.
  29. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
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