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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. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. LAUSSEL, Didier & LE BRETON, Michel, . "Conflict and cooperation. The structure of equilibrium payoffs in common agency," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1519, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1996. "Exclusive Dealing," NBER Working Papers 5666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ivaldi, Marc & Martimort, David, 1993. "Competition under Nonlinear Pricing," IDEI Working Papers 29, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-57, May.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  9. Maggi G. & Rodriguez-Clare A., 1995. "On Countervailing Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-263, June.
  10. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
  11. Martimort, David, 1996. "The multiprincipal nature of government," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 673-685, April.
  12. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2006. "Continuity in mechanism design without transfers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 182-189, November.
  13. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2002. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1659-1673, July.
  14. Martimort, David & Semenov, Aggey, 2008. "Ideological Uncertainty and Lobbying Competition," MPRA Paper 6992, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Calzolari, Giacomo & Denicolò, Vincenzo, 2009. "Competition with exclusive contracts and market-share discounts," CEPR Discussion Papers 7613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. David MARTIMORT, 1992. "Multi-principaux avec anti-sélection," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 28, pages 1-37.
  17. 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.
  18. Stole, Lars A, 1995. "Nonlinear Pricing and Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 529-62, Winter.
  19. Le Breton, Michel & Salanie, Francois, 2003. "Lobbying under political uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2589-2610, December.
  20. 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.
  21. Jullien, Bruno, 1997. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," IDEI Working Papers 67, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  22. 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.
  23. Martimort, David & Stole, Lars, 2011. "Aggregate Representations of Aggregate Games," MPRA Paper 32871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. 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.
  25. Alonso, Ricardo & Matouschek, Niko, 2005. "Optimal Delegation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. 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.
  27. Bruno Biais & David Martimort & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000. "Competing Mechanisms in a Common Value Environment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 799-838, July.
  28. 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.
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