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Should Contractual Clauses that Forbid Renegotiation Always be Enforced?

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Abstract

Recent work in the field of mechanism design has led some researchers to propose institutional changes that would permit parties to enter into nonmodifiable contracts, which is not possible under current contract law. This paper demonstrates that it may well be socially desirable not to enforce contractual terms that explicitly prevent renegotiation, even if rational and symmetrically informed parties have deliberately signed such a contract. The impossibility to prevent renegotiation can constrain the principal’s abilities to introduce distortions in order to reduce the agent’s rent, so that the first-best benchmark solution will more often be attained.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitz, Patrick W., 2005. "Should Contractual Clauses that Forbid Renegotiation Always be Enforced?," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 26/2005, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bonedp:262005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Müller, Daniel & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2015. "Overdeterrence of repeat offenders when penalties for first-time offenders are restricted," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 116-120.
    3. Evelyn Korn & Stephan Meisenzahl, 2009. "Contracting still matters! Or: How to design a letter of intent," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200909, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Grosskopf Ofer & Medina Barak, 2007. "Rationalizing Drennan: On Irrevocable Offers, Bid Shopping and Binding Range," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 321-361, August.
    5. Matthias Kräkel, 2017. "Authority and Incentives in Organizations," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(2), pages 295-311, April.
    6. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 318-336, Summer.
    7. Matthias Kräkel, 2016. "Human Capital Investment and Work Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 627-651, September.
    8. Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2015. "Merger efficiency and managerial incentives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 51-63.
    9. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 807-816, September.
    10. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
    11. Daniel Danau, 2019. "Contract law and Contract theory. A survey and some considerations," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2019-04, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    12. Daniel Müller & Philipp Weinschenk, 2015. "Rater Bias and Incentive Provision," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 833-862, October.
    13. Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2014. "Merger Performance and Managerial Incentives," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 02/2014, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
    14. Kräkel, Matthias & Schöttner, Anja, 2016. "Optimal sales force compensation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 179-195.
    15. Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2013. "Bad Mergers Revisited: An Incentive Perspective," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79914, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contract modification; Renegotiation; Moral hazard;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law

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