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Behavioral constraints on the design of subgame-perfect implementation mechanisms


Fehr, Ernst; Powell, Michael; Wilkening, Tom (2021). Behavioral constraints on the design of subgame-perfect implementation mechanisms. American Economic Review, 111(4):1055-1091.

Abstract

We study subgame-perfect implementation (SPI) mechanisms that have been proposed as a solution to incomplete contracting problems. We show that these mechanisms, which are based on off-equilibrium arbitration clauses that impose large fines for lying and the inappropriate use of arbitration, have severe behavioral constraints because the fines induce retaliation against legitimate uses of arbitration. Incorporating reciprocity preferences into the theory explains the observed behavioral patterns and helps us develop a new mechanism that is more robust and achieves high rates of truth-telling and efficiency. Our results highlight the importance of tailoring implementation mechanisms to the underlying behavioral environment. (JEL C92, D44, D82, D86, D91)

Abstract

We study subgame-perfect implementation (SPI) mechanisms that have been proposed as a solution to incomplete contracting problems. We show that these mechanisms, which are based on off-equilibrium arbitration clauses that impose large fines for lying and the inappropriate use of arbitration, have severe behavioral constraints because the fines induce retaliation against legitimate uses of arbitration. Incorporating reciprocity preferences into the theory explains the observed behavioral patterns and helps us develop a new mechanism that is more robust and achieves high rates of truth-telling and efficiency. Our results highlight the importance of tailoring implementation mechanisms to the underlying behavioral environment. (JEL C92, D44, D82, D86, D91)

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Economics and Econometrics
Language:English
Date:April 2021
Deposited On:23 Aug 2021 10:52
Last Modified:23 Aug 2021 10:52
Publisher:American Economic Association
ISSN:0002-8282
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20170297
Related URLs:https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-98147

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