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Incentive provision when contracting is costly

  • Kvaløy, Ola

    (Dept. of Economics and Business Administration, University of Stavanger)

  • Olsen, Trond E.

    ()

    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

We analyze optimal incentive contracts in a model where the probability of court enforcement is determined by the costs spent on contracting. We show that contract costs matter for incentive provision, both in static spot contracts and repeated game relational contracts. We find that social surplus may be higher under costly relational contracting than under costless verifiable contracting, and show that there is not a monotonic relationship between contracting costs and incentive intensity. In particular we show that an increase in contracting costs may lead to higher-powered incentives. Moreover we formulate hypotheses about the relationship between legal systems and incentive provision, specifically the model predicts higher-powered incentives in common law than in civil law systems.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/164144
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2010/10.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2010_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
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  1. Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1997. "Contractual Fragility, Job Destruction, and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 873-911, August.
  2. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
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  13. Dye, Ronald A, 1985. "Costly Contract Contingencies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 233-50, February.
  14. Ola Kvaløy & Trond E. Olsen, 2009. "Endogenous Verifiability and Relational Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2193-2208, December.
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  18. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, . "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1004, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  19. Demougin, Dominique & Fluet, Claude, 2001. "Monitoring versus incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1741-1764, October.
  20. Alan Schwartz & Robert Scott, . "Contract Theory and the Limits of Contract Law," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1011, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
  21. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  22. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-56, November.
  23. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
  24. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2003. "Costly Contracting in a Long-Term Relationship," Working Papers 249, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  25. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
  26. Katherine Doornik, 2010. "Incentive Contracts with Enforcement Costs," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 115-143, April.
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