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2018/2019  KAN-COECO1065U  Contract, Agency and Game Theory

English Title
Contract, Agency and Game Theory

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory offered as elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance
Course coordinator
  • Peter Bogetoft - Department of Economics (ECON)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 19-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • set up and analyze static and dynamic games and incomplete information games, as well as apply the Revelation Principle
  • use the concepts of hidden action, hidden information and signaling to design contracts under asymmetric information
  • solve the associated contracting problems mathematically
  • link selected themes in business economics and microeconomics to game theory and contract theory
  • analyze real contracts and balance multiple objectives involved in such cases
Course prerequisites
This is a mandatory course for the MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance. It is assumed that students have knowledge similar to the entry requirements for this programme. The course has 41 confrontation hours and there is a high level of interaction between lecturer and students, and in general a high work load.

To sign up send a 1-page motivational letter, a 1-page CV, and a grade transcript to oecon.eco@cbs.dk no later than 24 April 2018. Please also remember to sign up through the online registration.
The exam in the subject consists of two parts:
Contract, Agency and Game Theory - midterm:
Sub exam weight30%
Examination formHome assignment - written product
Individual or group examIndividual exam
Size of written productMax. 3 pages
Assignment typeCase based assignment
Duration2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale7-step scale
Examiner(s)One internal examiner
Exam periodAutumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
In the case that only one student is registered for the retake, both power point presentation and summary will be individual.
Description of the exam procedure

Group powerpoints and Individual summaries
Power point presentation in groups plus individual summaries of max. 3 pages


Contract, Agency and Game Theory - final:
Sub exam weight70%
Examination formWritten sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group examIndividual exam
Assignment typeWritten assignment
Duration4 hours
Grading scale7-step scale
Examiner(s)One internal examiner
Exam periodWinter
AidsLimited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring
  • Non-programmable, financial calculators: HP10bll+ or Texas BA II Plus
  • Language dictionaries in paper format
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content and structure

Contract and agency theory gives a fundamental understanding of motivation and coordination issues under asymmetric information. The theory hereby also provides an analytical basis of micro- and business economics.

The course consists of three parts. In the first part, we cover game theoretical results and in particular, we discuss static games, dynamic games including repeated games, and Bayesian games. In the second part, the basic ideas of contract theory are presented. We will in particular analyse contracts, where one party has hidden information (adverse selection) and/or can take a hidden action (moral hazard). We will also discuss some more advanced models with multiple agents, multiple periods etc. In addition, we will cover key aspects of more general mechanism design and discuss incomplete contracts. The aim of this part is to get a good understanding of the basic trade-offs involved, e.g. motivation versus risk sharing, and the basic mechanisms (such as information collection, menu of contracts, signalling etc). The aim is also to train the students to actually make optimal contracts and related mechanisms in simple settings by formulation and solving the associated mathematical programmes. In the third part, we use the developed theories to analyse important economic issues in both organisational and market contexts. The choice of topics shall be coordinated with the other courses in the programme, but could naturally include subjects such as allocation of decision rights, relative performance evaluation, yardstick competitions and regulation, career concern, CEO payment schemes, capital acquisition, capital budgeting, transfer pricing etc. In this part we also develop a holistic approach to contract design. The aim is to give a systematic approach that can be used to design new contracts or improve existing ones. The students will be asked to analyse key characteristic of a specific contract, e.g. a contract used in an actual supply chain. The course builds on decision theory, game theory and microeconomics. A good understanding of mathematics and statistics is an advantage.

Description of the teaching methods
Lectures, exercises and case analyses.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is provided in numerous ways throughout the course:

During office hours, we can discuss particular problems and give advice on individual academic development questions

During classes, we will do have small exercises and discussions of solutions suggested by (groups of) students

The midterm analysis of a case is presented to the teacher, an industry case provider, and the class in general and some feedback will be provided directly to the groups

The course is evaluated by the students and the teachers discuss the evaluations with the students.
Student workload
Teaching 42 hours
Preparation 147 hours
Exam 17 hours
Further Information

Part of this course may also be taken as a PhD course for a limited number of PhD students.

Expected literature

An Introduction to the Economics of Information, Ines Macho-Stadler & K- David Perez-Castrillo, OUP (2nd edition)

Design of Production Contracts: Lessons from Theory and Agriculture, Bogetoft, P. and H. B. Olesen, pp. 1-76, CBS-Press, 2004

A Primer in Game Theory; Robert Gibbons, Pearson

Last updated on 19-02-2018