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Competition and the Ratchet Effect

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Cardi

    () (ERMES, Université Panthéon-Assas Paris 2)

  • Romain Restout

    () (ECONOMIX, University Paris X, and GATE, ENS-LSH Lyon)

Abstract

The ‘ratchet effect’ refers to a situation where a principal uses private information that is revealed by an agent’s early actions to the agent’s later disadvantage, in a context where binding multi-period contracts are not enforceable. In a simple, context-rich environment, we experimentally study the robustness of the ratchet effect to the introduction of ex post competition for principals or agents. While we do observe substantial and significant ratchet effects in the baseline (no competition) case of our model, we find that ratchet behavior is nearly eliminated by labor-market competition; interestingly this is true regardless of whether market conditions favor principals or agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2008. "Competition and the Ratchet Effect," Working Papers 0829, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0829
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    Keywords

    Non Traded Goods; Investment; Employment; Tax Multiplier;

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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