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Contract Efficiency in the Presence of Demand and Cost Uncertainty

  • Paul H. Jensen

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, and Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

  • Robin E. Stonecash

    ()

    (Australian Graduate School of Management Universities of Sydney and New South Wales)

In this article, we examine contract efficiency in a complex contractual environment for services characterized by cost uncertainty and an unknown level of service provision. Using data on water and sewerage network maintenance services contracts from two Melbourne water retailers, we compare the expenditure across fixed-price and cost-plus service contracts. The results suggest that the fixed-price contracts outperform the cost-plus contracts, thereby confirming the standard result that efficient contracts trade-off risk for incentives.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2005n01.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2005n01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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