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Contracts and Promises - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements

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Abstract

In line with the widely applied principle of just deserts, we assume that the severity of the penalty on a contract offender increases in the harm on the other. When this principle holds, the influence of the efficiency of the agreement on the incentives to abide by it crucially depends on whether actions are strategic complements or substitutes. With strategic substitutes, there is a conflict between Pareto-efficiency and the incentives to abide. The opposite tends to be true when actions are strategic complements. The results are interpreted in the context of legal contracts and in that of informal mutual promises.

Suggested Citation

  • Miettinen, Topi, 2008. "Contracts and Promises - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 707, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0707
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cary Deck & Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker, 2013. "An examination of the effect of messages on cooperation under double-blind and single-blind payoff procedures," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 597-607, December.
    2. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by TILEC DP 2011-055)," Discussion Paper 2010-016, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    3. Marta Serra-Garcia & Eric van Damme & Jan Potters, 2013. "Lying About What You Know Or About What You Do?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1204-1229, October.
    4. Vera Angelova & Tobias Regner, 2012. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental sender-receiver game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-011, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Steffen Huck & Andrew J. Seltzer & Brian Wallace, 2011. "Deferred Compensation in Multiperiod Labor Contracts: An Experimental Test of Lazear's Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 819-843, April.
    6. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you do? (replaces TILEC DP 2010-016)," Discussion Paper 2011-055, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    7. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by CentER DP 2011-139)," Discussion Paper 2010-33, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. Martin Dufwenberg & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovič, 2012. "ABC on Deals," Working Papers in Economics 12/14, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    9. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
    10. Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2010. "Fairness perceptions and prosocial emotions in the power to take," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 908-922, December.
    11. Cary Deck & Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker, 2011. "Do People Keep Socially Unverifiable Promises?," Working Papers in Economics 11/39, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    12. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you Do? (replaces CentER DP 2010-033)," Discussion Paper 2011-139, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    partnerships; contracts; pre-play communication; legal enforcement; social norms; guilt;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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