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Competitive markets without commitment


Netzer, Nick; Scheuer, Florian (2010). Competitive markets without commitment. The Journal of Political Economy, 118(6):1079-1109.

Abstract

In the presence of a time-inconsistency problem with agency contracts, we show that competitive markets can implement allocations that Pareto-dominate those achieved by a benevolent government, and they induce more effort. We analyze a model with moral hazard and a two-sided lack of commitment. After agents have chosen their work, firms can modify contracts and agents can switch firms. If the ex post market outcome satisfies a weak notion of competitiveness and sufficiently separates individuals, it is Pareto superior to a government’s allocation with a complete breakdown of incentives. Moreover, competitive markets without commitment implement more effort in equilibrium under general conditions.

Abstract

In the presence of a time-inconsistency problem with agency contracts, we show that competitive markets can implement allocations that Pareto-dominate those achieved by a benevolent government, and they induce more effort. We analyze a model with moral hazard and a two-sided lack of commitment. After agents have chosen their work, firms can modify contracts and agents can switch firms. If the ex post market outcome satisfies a weak notion of competitiveness and sufficiently separates individuals, it is Pareto superior to a government’s allocation with a complete breakdown of incentives. Moreover, competitive markets without commitment implement more effort in equilibrium under general conditions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2010
Deposited On:02 Nov 2011 14:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:04
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0022-3808
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/658497

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