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Contract Renewal

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Abstract

Consider a contract between two players, describing the payment an agent obtains from the principal, in exchange for a good or service supplied. At each point in time, either player may unilaterally demand a renegotiation of the contract, involving renegotiation costs for both players. Players’ payoffs from trade under the contract, as well as from a renegotiated contract, are stochastic, following the exponential of a L´evy process. It is argued that the optimal strategy for each player is to require a renegotiation when the contract payment relative to the outcome of a renegotiation passes a certain threshold, depending on the stochastic processes, the discount rate, and the renegotiation costs. There is strategic substitutability in the choice of thresholds, so that if one player becomes more aggressive by choosing a threshold closer to unity, the other player becomes more passive. If players may invest in order to reduce the renegotiation costs, there will be over-investment compared to the welfare maximizing levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Holden, Helge & Holden, Lars & Holden, Steinar, 2004. "Contract Renewal," Memorandum 20/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2004_020
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    File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2004/Memo-20-2004.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andersen, Torben M. & Stampe Christensen, Morten, 2002. "Contract renewal under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 637-652, April.
    2. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    3. Danziger, Leif, 1983. "Price Adjustments with Stochastic Inflation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 699-707, October.
    4. Lebow David E & Saks Raven E & Wilson Beth Anne, 2003. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, October.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    6. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Macleod, W.B. & Malcomson, J.M., 1991. "Investments, Hold Up and the Reform of Market Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 9114, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    8. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1997. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 601-626, May.
    9. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
    10. Holden, Steinar, 1997. "Wage Bargaining, Holdout, and Inflation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 235-255, April.
    11. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    contract; stochastic; Levy process; renegotiation;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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