Adaptive Contracting: The Trial-and-Error Approach to Outsourcing
Adaptive contracting is defined as a strategy in which a principal experiments - through trial-and-error - with the degree of contractual completeness. We highlight two potential benefits of an adaptive approach: First, the implied delegation of authority can be beneficial for the principal even if the agent acts opportunistically. Second, the government extracts information from experimenting with delegation of authority and we identify a positive option value associated with this learning feature.
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