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Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment

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  • Edlin, Aaron S
  • Reichelstein, Stefan

Abstract

In bilateral trading problems, the parties may be hesitant to make relationship-specific investments without adequate contractual protection. The authors postulate that the parties can sign noncontingent contracts prior to investing and can freely renegotiate them after information about the desirability of trade is revealed. They find that such contracts can induce one party to invest efficiently when courts impose either a breach remedy of specific performance or expectation damages. Moreover, specific performance can induce both parties to invest efficiently if a separability condition holds. Expectation damages, on the other hand, is poorly suited to solve bilateral investment problems. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 86 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 478-501

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:3:p:478-501

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  1. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
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  18. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1992. "On the Social Optimality of Liquidated Damage Clauses: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 280-305, April.
  19. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
  20. William P. Rogerson, 1984. "Efficient Reliance and Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 39-53, Spring.
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  22. Lars Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1993. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice with Nonbinding Contracts," Game Theory and Information 9310001, EconWPA, revised 13 Oct 1993.
  23. Stole, Lars A, 1992. "The Economics of Liquidated Damage Clauses in Contractual Environments with Private Information," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 582-606, October.
  24. J. O. N. Perkins, 1977. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(56), pages 35-35, October.
  25. Joskow, Paul L, 1987. "Contract Duration and Relationship-Specific Investments: Empirical Evidence from Coal Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 168-85, March.
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