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Building Reputation for Contract Renewal: Implications for Performance Dynamics and Contract Duration

  • Iossa, Elisabetta
  • Rey, Patrick

We study how career concerns affect the dynamics of incentives in a multi-period contract, when the agent’s productivity can evolve exogenously (random shocks) or improve endogenously through investment. We show that incentives are stronger and performance is higher when the contract approaches its expiry date. Contrary to common wisdom, long-term contracts may strengthen reputational effects whereas short-term contracting may be optimal when investment has persistent, long-term effects.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 757.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association, vol. 12, n°3, juin 2014, p. 549-574.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:26678
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  1. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2007. "Playing For Keeps: Pay And Performance In The Nba," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(1), pages 145-161, 01.
  2. Tracy R. Lewis, 1986. "Reputation and Contractual Performance in Long-Term Projects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 141-157, Summer.
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  6. Abreu, Dilip & Milgrom, Paul & Pearce, David, 1991. "Information and Timing in Repeated Partnerships," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1713-33, November.
  7. Richard A. Lambert, 1983. "Long-Term Contracts and Moral Hazard," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 441-452, Autumn.
  8. Stéphane SAUSSIER, 1999. "Transaction Cost Economics and Contract Duration : An Empirical Analysis of EDF Coal Contracts," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1999011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, . ""Who Wants a Good Reputation?''," CARESS Working Papres 98-12, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
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  11. Tirole, Jean & Fudenberg, Drew, 1995. "A Theory of Income and Dividend Smoothing Based on Incumbency Rents," Scholarly Articles 3160494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  14. Oriana Bandiera, 2007. "Contract Duration and Investment Incentives: Evidence from Land Tenancy Agreements," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 953-986, 09.
  15. Roland Strausz, . "Planned Obsolescence and the Provision of Unobservable Quality," Papers 028, Departmental Working Papers.
  16. Nicola Doni, 2006. "The Importance Of Reputation In Awarding Public Contracts," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 401-429, December.
  17. Matthew Ellman, 2006. "The optimal length of contracts with application to outsourcing," Economics Working Papers 965, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-93, December.
  19. Joskow, Paul L, 1987. "Contract Duration and Relationship-Specific Investments: Empirical Evidence from Coal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 168-85, March.
  20. Ellen M. Pint, 1992. "Price-Cap versus Rate-of-Return Regulation in a Stochastic-Cost Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 564-578, Winter.
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