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Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria

  • Martimort, David
  • Stole, Lars

This paper characterizes the equilibrium sets of an intrinsic common agency game with direct exter-nalities between principals both under complete and asymmetric information. Direct externalities arise when the contracting variable of one principal affects directly the other principal’s payoff. Out-of-equilibrium messages are used by principals to precommit themselves to distort their strategic behavior. We characterize pure-strategy symmetric equilibria arising in such games under complete information and show their multiplicity. We then introduce asymmetric information to refine the set of feasible conjectures. We show that a unique equilibrium may be selected by conveniently perturbing the information structure. Both under complete and asymmetric information, we show that the equilibrium outputs of the intrinsic common agency game are also equilibrium outputs of the delegated common agency game, although the two games differ in terms of the distribution of surplus they involve.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 110.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision: 2003
Publication status: Published in Advances in Theoretical Economics, vol.�3, n°1, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:630
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  1. Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2002. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1659-1673, July.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1989. "Split Awards, Procurement, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 538-552, Winter.
  5. Martimort, David, 1994. "Exclusive Dealing, Common Agency and Multiprincipals Incentive Theory," IDEI Working Papers 43, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 1996.
  6. Epstein, Larry G. & Peters, Michael, 1999. "A Revelation Principle for Competing Mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 119-160, September.
  7. Giacomo Calzolari, 2004. "Incentive Regulation of Multinational Enterprises," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 257-282, 02.
  8. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  9. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  10. Daniel P. O'Brien & Greg Shaffer, 1992. "Vertical Control with Bilateral Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 299-308, Autumn.
  11. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  12. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  13. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
  14. Harris Milton & Townsend, Robert M, 1981. "Resource Allocation under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 33-64, January.
  15. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-38, March.
  16. Claudio Mezzetti, 1997. "Common Agency with Horizontally Differentiated Principals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 323-345, Summer.
  17. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L & Kalai, Ehud, 1991. "Observable Contracts: Strategic Delegation and Cooperation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 551-59, August.
  18. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
  19. Peters, Michael, 2001. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1349-72, September.
  20. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  21. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  22. Laffont, J.J. & Martimort, D., 1996. "The Firm as a Multicontact Organization," Papers 95.390, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  23. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  24. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting With Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388, May.
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