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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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  1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean., 1988. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Working Papers 665, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Steven A. Matthews & Andrew Postlewaite, 1987. "Pre-Play Communication in Two-Person Sealed-Bid Double Auctions," Discussion Papers 744R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Forges, Francoise, 1990. "Equilibria with Communication in a Job Market Example," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 375-98, May.
  4. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  5. Roger B. Myerson, 1984. "Multistage Games with Communication," Discussion Papers 590, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. F. Forges, 2010. "An Approach to Communication Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 516, David K. Levine.
  7. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 394, David K. Levine.
  8. Kay Mitusch & Roland Strausz, . "Mediators and Mechanism Design: Why Firms Hire Consultants," Papers 005, Departmental Working Papers.
  9. Forges, Francoise, 1988. "Can sunspots replace a mediator?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 347-368, September.
  10. Robert J. Aumann & Sergiu Hart, 2002. "Long Cheap Talk," Discussion Paper Series dp284, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, revised Nov 2002.
  11. Hart, Oliver D & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 509-40, October.
  12. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1985. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Working papers 397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Roger B. Myerson, 1983. "Bayesian Equilibrium and Incentive-Compatibility: An Introduction," Discussion Papers 548, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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