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An implication of our studies on bargaining is the manifest value from setting the An implication of our studies on bargaining is the manifest value from setting the rules and conventions that determine how bargaining proceeds. Almost by definition managers are placed in a strong position to set the rules of bargaining games they play. We look at upstream supply contracts, downstream consumer agreements, and employment contracts with labor.

The constraints illustrated (IC) The constraints illustrated (IC)

If the service provider charges per unit instead, the consumer would respond by purchasing If the service provider charges per unit instead, the consumer would respond by purchasing a level of service a a function of price. Anticipating the consumer’s demand, the provider constructs the consumer’s demand curve, and sets price where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. The provider serves the consumer if and only if the revenue from providing the service at this price exceeds the total cost. Since lower levels of service are provided, and since the consumer achieves a greater level of utility, than in the two part contract, the provider charging a unit price realizes less rent than in the two part contract.

Since lower levels of service are provided, and since the consumer achieves a greater Since lower levels of service are provided, and since the consumer achieves a greater level of utility, than in the two part contract, the provider charging a unit price realizes less rent than in the two part contract.

If the service provider charges per unit instead, the consumer would respond by purchasing If the service provider charges per unit instead, the consumer would respond by purchasing a level of service a a function of price. Anticipating the consumer’s demand, the provider constructs the consumer’s demand curve, and sets price where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. The provider serves the consumer if and only if the revenue from providing the service at this price exceeds the total cost.

In a two part contract rents are 16 – c but with a uniform In a two part contract rents are 16 – c but with a uniform price the rent is only 4 – c if c < 4. Furthermore if 4 < c < 16, a uniform price scheme cannot yield a profit but a two part price scheme can. Since lower levels of service are provided in the uniform price case, and since the consumer achieves a greater level of utility than in the two part contract, the provider charging a unit price realizes less rent than in the two part contract.

The same principles apply to hiring a worker. For example let y denote the The same principles apply to hiring a worker. For example let y denote the income the worker receives for her labor, in other words her wage earnings. Let h denote her hours of labor supplies to the firm if she is employed by the firm. Assume the worker’s utility function takes the form y + k log(16 - h) where k is a positive constant that measures her willingness to trade off goods for leisure and 16 is the maximum number of hours she would consider working. We also assume that if she is not employed with the firm her income equivalent is v.

Suppose firm profits are : ph - y where p is the output price Suppose firm profits are : ph - y where p is the output price (or value of the worker’s product). The firm chooses h and y to maximize profits subject to the participation constraint that the worker chooses to be employed.

If the firm offered more than v, then it could always reduce y by If the firm offered more than v, then it could always reduce y by so that hours remains unchanged. Therefore the participation constraint is met with equality and we set: y = v – k log(16 - h) The firm maximizes: ph + k log(16 - h) – v The first order condition for this problem can be written as h = 16 – k/ p

Substituting this equation for hours into the profit function we obtain: 16 p – Substituting this equation for hours into the profit function we obtain: 16 p – k + k log(k/p) – v Therefore the firm sets h = 16 - k/ p if profits are positive, meaning 16 p – k + k log(k/p) > v and otherwise h = 0.

The solution is almost identical to the employment contract problem, except that all the The solution is almost identical to the employment contract problem, except that all the rent accrues to the worker instead of the firm. The outsourcer sets a contract so that the firm only just breaks even, meaning y = ph. Hours are now chosen by the outsourcer to maximize ph + k log(16 - h) yielding the same choice of hours as in the original problem.

An alternative method of payment is for the firm to pay its employee a An alternative method of payment is for the firm to pay its employee a commission, denoted by s, on her output. In this case the worker chooses h to maximize sh + k[log(16 – h)]. Analogous to the previous problem, the solution to this maximization problem is h = 16 – k/s if 16 s – k + klog(k/s) > v and h = 0 otherwise.

Often managers know less than their own workers about the value employees contribute to Often managers know less than their own workers about the value employees contribute to and take from the firm. More generally, medical doctors and specialists diagnose the illnesses for patients, strategic consultants evaluate firm performance for shareholders, and building contractors tell property owners what needs to be done. This leads us to investigate how principals (like managers) should design contracts for agents (such as workers) when the information on their employees is incomplete. Consider a game between company headquarters and its research division, which is seeking to increase its budget so that it can proceed with “product development”.

Optimal contracting provides an opportunity for the contractor to extract rents from his business Optimal contracting provides an opportunity for the contractor to extract rents from his business partners, employees, customers and clients. Extracting maximal rent may require relatively complicated contracts, which if written incorrectly, carry the prospect of loss. If the rent opportunities are too meager, surrendering the rent, and using the market, may provide a better solution. These factors form the basis for defining where firm boundaries should be relative to the market.