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Mediation in Situations of Conflict and Limited Commitment

  • Mitusch, Kay
  • Strausz, Roland

We study the reasons and conditions under which mediation is beneficial when a principal needs information from an agent to implement an action. Assuming a strong form of limited commitment, the principal may employ a mediator who gathers information and makes non-binding proposals. We show that a partial rev-elation of information is more effective through a mediator than through the agent himself. This implies that mediation is strictly helpful if and only if the likelihood of a conflict of interest is positive but not too high. The value of mediation depends non-monotonically on the degree of conflict. Our insights extend to general models of contracting with imperfect commitment.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 24.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:24
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  2. Forges, F., 1987. "Can sunspots replace a mediator ?," CORE Discussion Papers 1987045, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
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  8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
  9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 597-625, October.
  10. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
  11. FORGES, Françoise, . "Equilibria with communication in a job market example," CORE Discussion Papers RP -885, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Hart, Oliver D & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 509-40, October.
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  14. Kay Mitusch & Roland Strausz, . "Mediators and Mechanism Design: Why Firms Hire Consultants," Papers 005, Departmental Working Papers.
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