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Efficient non-contractible investments

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Author Info

  • Harold L. Cole
  • George J. Mailath
  • Andrew Postlewaite

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether agents will invest efficiently in attributes that will increase their productivity in subsequent matches with other individuals. We present a two-sided matching model in which buyers and sellers make investment decisions prior to a matching stage. Once matched, the buyer and seller bargain over the transfer price. In contrast to most matching models, preferences over possible matches are affected by decisions made before the matching process. We show that if bargaining respects the existence of outside options (in the sense that the resulting allocation is in the core of the assignment game), then efficient decisions can always be sustained in equilibrium. However, there may also be inefficient equilibria. Our analysis identifies a potential source of inefficiency not present in most matching models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 253.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:253

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Keywords: Investments ; Game theory;

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References

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  1. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1998. "Clubs and the Market: Continuum Economies," Microeconomics 9802002, EconWPA.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  3. Ellickson, Bryan & Grodal, Birgit & Scotchmer, Suzanne & Zane, William R., 1997. "clubs and the Market: Large Finite Economies," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt10k1b44j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Harold L Cole & Edward C Prescott, 1997. "Valuation equilibrium with Clubs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 912, David K. Levine.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  6. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  7. Farrell, Joseph & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1986. "Partnerships," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49d211x4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Gretsky, Neil E & Ostroy, Joseph M & Zame, William R, 1992. "The Nonatomic Assignment Model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 103-27, January.
  9. Martine Quinzii, 1982. "Core and Competitive Equilibria with Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 644, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Mamoru Kaneko, 1980. "The Central Assignment Game and the Assignment Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 563, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Kamecke, Ulrich, 1992. "On the uniqueness of the solution to a large linear assignment problem," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 509-521.
  12. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1185-1218, September.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 445-64, July.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  15. Cole Harold Linh & Mailath George J. & Postlewaite Andrew, 2001. "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Finite Economies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-34, March.
  16. Hart, Oliver D., 1980. "Perfect competition and optimal product differentiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-312, April.
  17. Lewis Makowski & Joseph Ostroy, 2010. "Appropriation and Efficiency: A Revision of the First Theorem of Welfare Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1386, David K. Levine.
  18. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  19. Hart, Oliver D, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition in a Large Economy with Differentiated Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-30, January.
  20. 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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