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Gathering Information Before Signing a Contract

  • Cremer, J.
  • Khalil, F.

After being offered a contract, an agent has the possibility to observe the state of nature. This enables him to refuse the contract in unfavorable states but burdens him with an observation cost. The authors show that the principal offers a contract in which the agent has no incentive to observe the state of nature and they explore its terms. Later, they show that the principal finds it profitable to organize competition between several agents, even though he has monopoly power and can push a single agent down to his reservation utility. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

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Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 91-16.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:91-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Box 353330, Seattle, WA 98193-3330
Web page: http://www.econ.washington.edu/
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  1. Kim, In-Gyu, 1998. "A model of selective tendering: Does bidding competition deter opportunism by contractors?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 907-925.
  2. Blonski, Matthias & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2002. "Relational Contracts and Property Rights," CEPR Discussion Papers 3460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1993. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," NBER Working Papers 4480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  5. Alejandro M. Manelli & Daniel R. Vincent, 1992. "Optimal Procurement Mechanisms," Discussion Papers 999, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1998. "Motivation and Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 388-411, June.
  7. Che,Y.K. & Yoo,S.W., 1998. "Optimal incentives for teams," Working papers 8, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  9. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
  10. Doni Nicola, 2005. "L'affidamento mediante gara di contratti pubblici: l'importanza della reputazione," Politica economica - Journal of Economic Policy (PEJEP), Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 307.
  11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
  13. Sergei Guriev & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2005. "Contracting on Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1369-1385, December.
  14. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  15. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  16. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, 05.
  17. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  18. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  19. William Fuchs, 2005. "Contracting with Repeated Moral Hazard and Private Evaluations," 2005 Meeting Papers 431, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Auctions versus Negotiations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 180-94, March.
  21. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  22. Pearce, David G. & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1998. "The Interaction of Implicit and Explicit Contracts in Repeated Agency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-96, April.
  23. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  24. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
  25. Bull, Clive, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-59, February.
  26. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2003. "Bid rotation and collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-105, September.
  27. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  28. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  29. Jonathan Levin, 2000. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 01002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  30. Patrick Bajari & Steven Tadelis, 1999. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," Working Papers 99029, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  31. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
  32. Rachel E. Kranton, 2003. "Competition and the Incentive to Produce High Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 385-404, 08.
  33. Andreas Blume & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Modeling Tacit Collusion in Auctions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 163-184, March.
  34. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
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