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Contract, Renegotiation, and Holdup: When Should Messages be Sent?

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  • Göller, Daniel

Abstract

I consider a setting of complete but unverifiable information in which two agents enter a contractual relationship to induce mutually beneficial investments. As my main result, I establish that the famous irrelevance of contracting paradigm, that arises due to the detrimental effect of renegotiation, is resolved if there is a fixed point in time when actions have to be chosen and one accounts for the fact that renegotiation takes time. What drives my optimality result is that, by stipulating when the mechanism is to be played, the agents ensure that renegotiation is possible ex ante but not ex post.

Suggested Citation

  • Göller, Daniel, 2015. "Contract, Renegotiation, and Holdup: When Should Messages be Sent?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113166, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:113166
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Buzard, Kristy & Watson, Joel, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
    2. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1992. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 600-614, June.
    3. Evans, R., 2006. "Mechanism Design with Renegotiation and Costly Messages," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0626, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Buzard, Kristy & Watson, Joel, 2012. "Contract, renegotiation, and hold up: Results on the technology of trade and investment," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), May.
    5. Matthew Ellman, 2006. "Specificity Revisited: The Role of Cross-Investments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 234-257, April.
    6. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    7. Joel Watson, 2007. "Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 55-81, January.
    8. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
    9. 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.
    10. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    11. Moore, John & Repullo, Rafael, 1988. "Subgame Perfect Implementation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1191-1220, September.
    12. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2002. "The Mirrlees Approach to Mechanism Design with Renegotiation (with Applications to Hold-up and Risk Sharing)," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 1-45, January.
    13. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    14. Robert Evans, 2012. "Mechanism Design With Renegotiation and Costly Messages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2089-2104, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law

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