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Reliance Investments, Expectation Damages and Hidden Information

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  • Schweizer, Urs

Abstract

A setting of reliance investments is explored where one of the parties to a contract obtains private information concerning his utility or cost function that remains hidden to the other party and to courts. As a consequence, it will be a difficult task to award expectation damages corrrectly to a party with private information who sufffers from breach of contract. While a revelation mechanism would exist that leads to the first best solution, assessing expectation damages correctly turns out to be at odds with ex post efficiency. I conclude that, under asymmetric information, the performance of expectation damages falls short of what more general mechanisms could achieve.

Suggested Citation

  • Schweizer, Urs, 2006. "Reliance Investments, Expectation Damages and Hidden Information," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 162, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:162
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13389/1/162.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
    2. Schweizer, Urs, 2005. "Law and Economics of Obligations," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 209-228, June.
    3. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
    4. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    reliance investments; expectation damages; breach of contract; hidden information;

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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