IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Exit Options in Incomplete Contracts with Asymmetric Information

  • Bester, Helmut
  • Krähmer, Daniel

This paper analyzes bilateral contracting in an environment with contractual incompleteness and asymmetric information. One party (the seller) makes an unverifiable quality choice and the other party (the buyer) has private information about its valuation. A simple exit option contract, which allows the buyer to refuse trade, achieves the first–best in the benchmark cases where either quality is verifiable or the buyer’s valuation is public information. But, when unverifiable and asymmetric information are combined, exit options induce inefficient pooling and lead to a particularly simplecontract. Inefficient pooling is unavoidable also under the most general form of contracts, which make trade conditional on the exchange of messages between the parties. Indeed, simple exit option contracts are optimal if random mechanisms are ruled out.

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 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 251.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:251
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-3405
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3510
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. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
  3. Yeon-Koo Che & József Sákovics, 2004. "A Dynamic Theory of Holdup," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1063-1103, 07.
  4. Myerson, Roger B, 1986. "Multistage Games with Communication," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 323-58, March.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On the Interplay of Hidden Action and Hidden Information in Simple Bilateral Trading Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 444-460, April.
  7. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
  8. Roland Strausz, . "Deterministic versus Stochastic Mechanisms in Principal--Agent Models," Papers 020, Departmental Working Papers.
  9. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Exit Options in Corporate Finance: Liquidity versus Incentives," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 327-353.
  12. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  13. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
  14. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  15. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2009. "Contracting with Third Parties," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 75-100, February.
  16. Tercieux, Olivier & Aghion, Philippe & Fudenberg, Drew & Holden, Richard & Kunimoto, Takashi, 2012. "Subgame-Perfect Implementation Under Information Perturbations," Scholarly Articles 11224965, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-27, December.
  18. Helmut Bester & Roland Strausz, . "Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle," Papers 004, Departmental Working Papers.
  19. Evans, R., 2006. "Simple Efficient Contracts in Complex Environments," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0627, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  20. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2008. "Contracting for information under imperfect commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 905-925.
  21. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2007. "On Quitting Rights in Mechanism Design," Post-Print halshs-00754659, HAL.
  22. Che, Y.K. & Hausch, D.B., 1997. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," Working papers 9714, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  23. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
  24. Eric Maskin, 1999. "Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 23-38.
  25. Hori, Kazumi, 2005. "Inefficiency in a Bilateral Trading Problem with Cooperative Investment," Discussion Papers 2005-02, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  26. Helmut Bester & Roland Strausz, . "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and Noisy Communication," Papers 017, Departmental Working Papers.
  27. Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
  28. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1863, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  29. Taylor, Curtis R, 1993. "Delivery-Contingent Contracts for Research," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 188-203, April.
  30. Evans, R., 2006. "Mechanism Design with Renegotiation and Costly Messages," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0626, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  31. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
  32. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
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:trf:wpaper:251. 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: (Tamilla Benkelberg)

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.