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"Option Contracts and Renegotiation in Complex Environments"

By Thomas P. Lyon and Eric Rasmusen

Abstract

Hart & Moore (1999) construct a model to show that contracts perform poorly in complex environments when the state of the world is unverifiable and renegotiation cannot be ruled out. They implicitly assume one player can extort payment from another by threatening to take an inefficient action which hurts both of them. We show that without this assumption a simple "buyer option" contract can implement the first-best even as complexity becomes severe.

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