Events at CERGE-EI

Friday, 5 April, 2019 | 12:00 | Micro Theory Research Seminar

Prof. Francesco Squintani (U. of Warwick) “Legal Restrictions and Optimal Contracts”

Prof. Francesco Squintani

The University of Warwick, United Kingdom


Author: Francesco Squintani

Abstract: Real-world transactions are often limited: Not all contracts are legal. As a result, I show economic examples where the only way to implemente first-best is as follows. First, the parties contractually commit to an inefficient different outcome. Then, they secretly violate the contract and coordinate play on first-best. If the parties were to contractually commit to first best, they would fail to implemente it. So, first best can only be implemented by signing a contract that appears to be over-specified, as it contains unenforceable prescriptions. I develop a novel theory of how contracts are shaped by legal constraints, and derive conditions such that the phenomenon I identify cannot take place. For example, this is the case if the court's verification of events is costless and if all contracts that can be stipulated are legal. Under this condition, the standard contract-theoretical assumption that parties stipulate only enforceable contracts is without loss of generality.