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Incomplete contracts, incentives and economic power

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  • Sripad Motiram

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

This paper formalizes ideas from classical and radical political economy on task allocation and technology adoption under capitalism. A few previous studies have attempted this, but the framework and results in this paper are different. I model labor contracts that are incomplete owing to unforeseen/indescribable contingencies, leading to Pareto-improving renegotiation and a hold-up problem. Given path dependence, the allocation is sub-optimal, with the extent of inefficiency depending upon the degree of incompleteness. This model captures insights from the above literature on the microeconomic roots of inefficiency and power. It also provides a concrete setting where indescribable contingencies do (or don't) matter - a much-debated issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Sripad Motiram, 2010. "Incomplete contracts, incentives and economic power," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2010-011, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2010-011
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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2010-011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124.
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    Keywords

    Incomplete Contracts; Unforeseen/Indescribeable Contingencies; Hold-Up; Classical and Radical Political Economy;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925

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