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Public Contracting in Delegated Agency Games

  • Martimort, David
  • Stole, Lars

We study games of public delegated common agency under asymmetric information. Us- ing tools from non-smooth analysis and optimal control, we derive best responses and characterize equilibria (both continuous and discontinuous) using self-generating opti- mization programs of which any equilibrium allocation must be a solution. Special atten- tion is given to common agency games in which each principal’s payoff is a linear function of the agent’s action. In such games the self-generating optimization program reduces to the maximization of the principals’ “aggregate” virtual surplus in which the agent’s marginal valuation is replaced by a confluence of “virtual” valuations that reflect com- mon agency problems. One noteworthy subset of equilibrium allocations are “virtually truthful” which are the incomplete-information generalization of Bernheim and Whin- ston’s (1986) “truthful” equilibria. Virtually-truthful equilibria are simple to calculate and illustrate two distinct sources of equilibrium distortion: inefficient contracting by a given coalition of active principals and inefficient participation (insufficient activity) by principals. Our results are illustrated by means of two games: a public goods game in which each player simultaneously offers a menu contract to a common provider of the public good in order to induce greater supply, and a lobbying game between conflicting interest groups in which each group offers a menu of contributions to a common political decision-maker in an attempt to influence policymaking.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32874.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32874
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  1. 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.
  2. Hoernig, Steffen & Valletti, Tommaso, 2010. "When two-part tariffs are not enough: Mixing with nonlinear pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2001. "Conflict and Cooperation: The Structure of Equilibrium Payoffs in Common Agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 93-128, September.
  4. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
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  6. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  7. David MARTIMORT, 1992. "Multi-principaux avec anti-sélection," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 28, pages 1-37.
  8. Giacomo Calzolari & Vincenzo Denicol?, 2013. "Competition with Exclusive Contracts and Market-Share Discounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2384-2411, October.
  9. Biais, Bruno & Martimort, David & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Competing Mechanisms in a Commun Value Environment," IDEI Working Papers 75, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2001. "Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria," CESifo Working Paper Series 581, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  12. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 1998. "Efficient Private Production of Public Goods under Common Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 194-218, November.
  13. Marc IVALDI & David MARTIMORT, 1994. "Competition under Nonlinear Pricing," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 34, pages 71-114.
  14. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  15. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "Optimal Delegation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 259-293.
  16. Maggi G. & Rodriguez-Clare A., 1995. "On Countervailing Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-263, June.
  17. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  18. David Martimort, 1996. "The multiprincipal nature of government," Working Papers 153244, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  19. Le Breton, Michel & Salanie, Francois, 2003. "Lobbying under political uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2589-2610, December.
  20. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  21. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2002. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1659-1673, July.
  22. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2006. "Continuity in mechanism design without transfers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 182-189, November.
  23. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  24. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2009. "Market participation in delegated and intrinsic common-agency games," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 78-102.
  25. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-57, May.
  26. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2008. "Ideological uncertainty and lobbying competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 456-481, April.
  27. Martimort, David & Stole, Lars, 2011. "Aggregate Representations of Aggregate Games," MPRA Paper 32871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Jullien, Bruno, 1997. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," IDEI Working Papers 67, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  29. Chiesa, Gabriella & Denicolò, Vincenzo, 2009. "Trading with a common agent under complete information: A characterization of Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 296-311, January.
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