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The Cost of Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from the Local Public Sector


  • Gagnepain, Philippe
  • Ivaldi, Marc
  • Martimort, David


The renegotiation of regulatory contracts is known to prevent regulators from achieving the full commitment efficient outcome in dynamic contexts. However, assessing the cost of such renegotiation remains an open issue from an empirical viewpoint. To address this question, we fit a structural principal-agent model with renegotiation on a set of urban transport service contracts. The model captures two important features of the industry. First, only two types of contracts are used in practice (fixed-price and cost-plus). Second, subsidies increase over time. We compare a scenario with renegotiation and a hypothetical situation with full commitment. We conclude that the welfare gains from improving commitment would be significant but would accrue mostly to operators.

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  • Gagnepain, Philippe & Ivaldi, Marc & Martimort, David, 2010. "The Cost of Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from the Local Public Sector," IDEI Working Papers 637, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:23193

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Börjesson & Chau Man Fung & Stef Proost, 2015. "Should buses still be subsidized in Stockholm?," Working Papers Department of Economics 518627, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    2. Börjesson, Maria & Fung, Chau Man & Proost, Stef, 2017. "Optimal prices and frequencies for buses in Stockholm," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 20-36.
    3. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "Auctions vs Negotiations in Public Procurement: Which Works Better?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Gine,Xavier & Jacoby,Hanan G., 2016. "Markets, contracts, and uncertainty in a groundwater economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7694, The World Bank.
    5. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2015. "The political economy of public transport pricing and supply decisions," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 95-109.
    6. repec:eee:juipol:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:176-183 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & David Martimort, 2013. "The Cost of Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from the Local Public Sector," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2352-2383, October.
    8. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2011. "The Theory of Incentives Applied to the Transport Sector," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Klenio Barbosa & Pierre C. Boyer, 2012. "Discrimination in Dynamic Procurement Design with Learning-by-doing," CESifo Working Paper Series 3947, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. repec:eee:transa:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:106-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Guillermo Díaz & Vincent Charles, 2016. "Regulatory design and technical efficiency: public transport in France," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 328-350, December.
    12. Magali Chaudey, 2017. "Why test the theory of incentives in a dynamic framework?," Working Papers 1733, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    13. Feng, Zhuo & Zhang, Shui-Bo & Gao, Ying & Zhang, Shuai-Jun, 2016. "Subsidizing and pricing private toll roads with noncontractible service quality: A relational contract approach," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 466-491.

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    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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