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Hold-Up and Durable Trading Opportunities

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Author Info

  • Watson, Joel
  • Wignall, Chris

Abstract

This paper examines a contractual settingwith unverifiable investment and a durable trading opportunity, in which trade can take place in any one of an infinite number of periods. The contractual setting features cross-investment, meaning that the seller’s investment affects the buyer’s benefit of trade. The analysis shows that durability of the trading opportunity does not complicate the hold-up problem; more precisely, the set of outcomes supported in the durability setting is equivalent to the set supported in the related setting without durability. Thus, the technology of investment and trade— in particular, whether investment and trade actions are divided or unified (Buzard and Watson 2009)— plays an important role in determining whether the seller can be induced to invest at the efficient level. The issue of multiple equilibrium is analyzed and it is shown that particular non-stationary contracts can achieve unique implementation. The modeling exercise thus qualifies the recent view that durability may contribute to the hold-up problem

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt8p8284wg.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt8p8284wg

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Keywords: Trade; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

References

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  1. Robert Evans, 2008. "Simple Efficient Contracts in Complex Environments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 459-491, 05.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  3. Thomas P. Lyon, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, April.
  4. Jesse Bull, 2012. "Third-Party Budget Breakers and Side Contracting in Team Production," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2606-2614.
  5. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2009. "Contracting with Third Parties," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 75-100, February.
  6. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  7. Yeon-Koo Che & Jozsef Sakovics, 2004. "A Dynamic Theory of Holdup," ESE Discussion Papers 74, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  8. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-82, March.
  10. Rogerson, William P, 1992. "Contractual Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 777-93, October.
  11. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
  12. Matthew Ellman, 2004. "Specificity revisited: The role of cross-investments," Economics Working Papers 799, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2005.
  13. Sönje Reiche, 2006. "Ambivalent Investment and the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1148-1164, December.
  14. Sabine Böckem & Ulf Schiller, 2008. "Option Contracts in Supply Chains," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 219-245, 03.
  15. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  16. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
  17. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Andreas Roider, 2004. "Asset Ownership and Contractibility of Interaction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 787-802, Winter.
  19. Joel S. Demski & David E.M. Sappington, 1991. "Resolving Double Moral Hazard Problems with Buyout Agreements," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 232-240, Summer.
  20. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1997. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," CEPR Discussion Papers 1645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Guriev Sergei, 2003. "Incomplete Contracts with Cross-Investments," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-32, August.
  22. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Hideshi Itoh & Hodaka Morita, 2011. "Formal Contracts, Relational Contracts, and the Threat-Point Effect," CESifo Working Paper Series 3533, CESifo Group Munich.

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