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Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature

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  • Anderlini, L.
  • Felli, L.

Abstract

This paper explores the extent to which the incompleteness of contracts can be attributed to their formal nature: the form, usually written, that contracts are required to take to be enforceable in a court of law by legal prescription, common practice, or simply the contracting parties' will. We model the formal nature of state-contingent contracts as the requirement that the mapping from states of the world to the corresponding outcomes must be of an algorithmic nature. It is shown that such algorithmic nature, although by itself is not enough to generate incomplete contracts, when paired with a similar restriction on the contracting parties' selection process yields endogenously incomplete optimal contracts.
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Suggested Citation

  • Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:cambri:183
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gilboa Itzhak & Schmeidler David, 1993. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 33-49.
    2. Lipman, Barton L, 1991. "How to Decide How to Decide How to. . . : Modeling Limited Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1105-1125, July.
    3. Truman F. Bewley, 1986. "Knightian Decision Theory: Part 1," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 807, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    Keywords

    game theory ; contracts ; economic analysis;

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