Econometrica: Jul 1997, Volume 65, Issue 4

Collusion Under Asymmetric Information

https://doi.org/0012-9682(199707)65:4<875:CUAI>2.0.CO;2-R
p. 875-911

David Martimort, Jean-Jacques Laffont

When applied to groups, the Revelation Principle postulates a Bayesian-Nash behavior between agents. Their binding agreements are unenforceable or the principal can prevent them at no cost. We analyze instead a mechanism design problem in which the agents can communicate between themselves and collude under asymmetric information. We characterize the set of implementable collusion-proof contracts both when the principal offers anonymous and nonanonymous contracts. After having isolated the nexi and the stakes of collusion we proceed to a normative analysis, perform some comparative statics, discuss our concept of collusion-proofness, and provide some insights about transaction costs in side contracting.

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