IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Theory of Authority in Bilateral Contracting

Two players are involved in a joint project during which a decision must be reached. Each player has private information about future profits. Authority gives one player the right to decide first in a pre-defined set of alternatives. In this framework, I show that (partial) authority should be assigned to the player who gets the highest share of the total surplus. This organizational architecture replicates the performance of an optimal revelation mechanism without the cost of hiring a third party acting as a principal.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 102.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:102
Contact details of provider: Postal: I-80126 Napoli
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
Web page:

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. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Nahum Melamad & Dilip Mookherjee & Stefan Reichelstein, 1996. "Contract Complexity, Incentives and the Value of Delegation," Papers 0070, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  5. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1997. "Collusion under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 875-912, July.
  6. Lerner, Josh & Merges, Robert P, 1998. "The Control of Technology Alliances: An Empirical Analysis of the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 125-56, June.
  7. Poitevin, M., 2000. "Can the Theory of Incentives Explain Devcentralization?," Cahiers de recherche 2000-13, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  8. Bester, Helmut, 2004. "Externalities and the Allocation of Decision Rights in the Theory of the Firm," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 23, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  9. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
  10. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  11. Krähmer, Daniel, 2002. "Delegation versus authority
    [Delegation versus Autorität]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 02-26, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  12. Jacques Crémer, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-295.
  13. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1998. "Centralized and Decentralized Contracts in a Moral Hazard Environment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 489-510, December.
  14. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  15. Mookherjee, Dilip & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1992. "Dominant strategy implementation of Bayesian incentive compatible allocation rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 378-399, April.
  16. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal: The Case of Private Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 379-409, 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:sef:csefwp:102. 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: (Lia Ambrosio)

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.