Econometrica: May 2003, Volume 71, Issue 3

Robust Predictions for Bilateral Contracting with Externalities
p. 757-791

Ilya Segal, Michael D. Whinston

The paper studies bilateral contracting between one principal and agents when each agent's utility depends on the principal's unobservable contracts with other agents. We show that allowing deviations to menu contracts from which the principal chooses bounds equilibrium outcomes in a wide class of bilateral contracting games without imposing ad hoc restrictions on the agents' beliefs. This bound yields, for example, competitive convergence as in environments in which an appropriately‐defined notion of competitive equilibrium exists. We also examine the additional restrictions arising in two common bilateral contracting games: the “offer game” in which the principal makes simultaneous offers to the agents, and the “bidding game” in which the agents make simultaneous offers to the principal.

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