IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Theory of Contracts with Limited Enforcement

  • David Martimort

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics-EHESS)

  • Aggey Semenov

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Lars Stole

    ()

    (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

We present a Theory of Contracts under costly enforcement in the context of a dynamic relationship between an uninformed buyer and a seller who is privately informed on his persistent cost at the outset. Public enforcement relies on remedies for breach. Private enforcement comes from severing relationships. We first characterize aggregate enforcement constraints ensuring that trading partners do not breach contracts unduly. Whether a long-term contract is enforceable does not depend on the distribution of penalties for breach between the buyer and the seller. While under complete information, the optimal contract would remain stationary, non-stationarity might arise under asymmetric information. Enforcement constraints are time-dependent and easier to satisfy as time passes. Indeed, a high-cost seller may be tempted to trade high volumes at high prices at the beginning of the relationship before breaching the contract later on. Yet, such take-the-money-and-run strategy becomes less attractive as time passes and can be prevented with back loaded payments. The optimal contract thus goes through two different phases. First, quantities and prices increase at the inception of the relationship. Later on, the contract looks more stationary. Long-run screening distortions encapsulate the quality of enforcement, offering de facto a link between the quality of the legal system and contractual performances.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/sites/default/files/public/eco/1304e.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number E1304E.

as
in new window

Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:e1304e
Contact details of provider: Postal:
PO Box 450, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5

Phone: (613) 562-5753
Fax: (613) 562-5999
Web page: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/eco/eng/index.asp
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Marco Battaglini, 2003. "Long-Term Contracting with Markovian Consumers," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000048, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  3. Steven Shavell, 1984. "The Design of Contracts and Remedies for Breach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 121-148.
  4. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2009. "Veto Constraint in Mechanism Design: Inefficiency with Correlated Types," Post-Print halshs-00754397, HAL.
  5. Mathias Dewatripont, 1989. "Renegotiation and Information Revelation Over Time: The Case of Optimal Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 589-619.
  6. Beaudry, P. & Poitevin, M., 1993. "Contract Renegotiation: A Simple Framework and Implications for Organization Theory," Cahiers de recherche 9332, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-1156.
  8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Guasch, J. Luis & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Straub, Stephane, 2003. "Renegotiation of concession contracts in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3011, The World Bank.
  10. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "The interaction of explicit and implicit contracts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 193-199, May.
  11. Noldeke, Georg & Samuelson, Larry, 2007. "Optimal bunching without optimal control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 405-420, May.
  12. Watson, Joel, 1999. "Starting Small and Renegotiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 52-90, March.
  13. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1998. "Motivation and Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 388-411, June.
  14. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 2011. "Recursive Contracts," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/15, European University Institute.
  15. James Malcomson, 2015. "Relational Incentive Contracts with Persistent Private Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 5462, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243259, July.
  17. Marina Halac, 2012. "Relational Contracts and the Value of Relationships," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 750-79, April.
  18. Crocker, Keith J & Masten, Scott E, 1996. "Regulation and Administered Contracts Revisited: Lessons from Transaction-Cost Economics for Public Utility Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-39, January.
  19. Philippe Jehiel & Olivier Compte, 2007. "On Quitting Rights in Mechanism Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 137-141, May.
  20. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
  21. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2000. "Optimal Contracts when Enforcement Is a Decision Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 119-134, January.
  22. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521549486, 1.
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2006. "Emergence and Persistence of Inefficient States," NBER Working Papers 12748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Elisabetta Iossa & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2009. "Contracts as Threats: on a Rationale For Rewarding A while Hoping For B," CEIS Research Paper 147, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Sep 2009.
  25. Johannes H�rner, 2002. "Reputation and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 644-663, June.
  26. Beaudry, P. & Poitevin, M., 1992. "The Commitment Value of Contracts Under Dynamic Renegotiation," Cahiers de recherche 9202, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  27. Alan Schwartz, 2004. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 2-31, April.
  28. Watson, Joel, 2002. "Starting Small and Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 176-199, January.
  29. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
  30. Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
  31. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Pollution permits and compliance strategies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 85-125, October.
  32. Steven A. Matthews & Andrew Postlewaite, 1987. "Pre-Play Communication in Two-Person Sealed-Bid Double Auctions," Discussion Papers 744R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  33. Watson, Joel, 2006. "Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2m08n7cg, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  34. Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2004. "Endogenous Verifiability in Relational Contracting," Discussion Papers 2004/20, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  35. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, July.
  36. Anja Schöttner, 2008. "Relational Contracts, Multitasking, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 138-162, May.
  37. Thomas, Lionel, 2002. "Non-linear pricing with budget constraint," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 257-263, April.
  38. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  39. Parikshit Ghosh & Debraj Ray, 1996. "Cooperation in Community Interaction Without Information Flows," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 491-519.
  40. Katherine Doornik, 2010. "Incentive Contracts with Enforcement Costs," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 115-143, April.
  41. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  42. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 509-540.
  43. Matthias Messner & Nicola Pavoni & Christopher Sleet, 2011. "On the Dual Approach to Recursive Optimization," Working Papers 423, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  44. Stefan Krasa & Anne P. Villamil, 2003. "Optimal Contracts when Enforcement is a Decision Variable: A Reply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 391-393, January.
  45. Baron, David P. & Besanko, David, 1984. "Regulation and information in a continuing relationship," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 267-302.
  46. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
  47. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
  48. Edlin, Aaron S, 1996. "Cadillac Contracts and Up-Front Payments: Efficient Investment under Expectation Damages," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 98-118, April.
  49. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  50. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 351-367.
  51. Rustichini, A., 1998. "Lagrange multipliers in incentive-constrained problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 365-380, May.
  52. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
  53. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 902-32, September.
  54. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
  55. Joel Sobel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 557-573.
  56. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
  57. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2002. "Evidence Disclosure and Verfiability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt19p7z2gm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  58. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  59. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
  60. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
  61. Rey, Patrick & Salanie, Bernard, 1996. "On the Value of Commitment with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1395-1414, November.
  62. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
  63. Seungjin Whang, 1992. "Contracting for Software Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(3), pages 307-324, March.
  64. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
  65. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  66. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
  67. Wolitzky, Alexander, 2010. "Dynamic monopoly with relational incentives," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(3), September.
  68. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1985. "Bilateral monopoly with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 214-236, August.
  69. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  70. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:e1304e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diane Ritchot)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.