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Does Evolution Solve the Hold-up Problem?

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Author Info

  • Ellingsen, Tore

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Robles, Jack

    (University of Colorado, Department of Economics)

Abstract

The paper examines the theoretical foundations of the hold-up problem. At a first stage, one agent decides on the level of a relationship-specific investment. There is no contract, so at a second stage the agent must bargain with a trading partner over the surplus that the investment has generated. We show that the conventional underinvestment result hinges crucially both on the assumed bargaining game and on the choice of equilibrium concept. In particular, we prove the following two results. (i) If bargaining proceeds according to the Nash demand game, any investment level is subgame perfect, but only efficient outcomes are stochastically stable. (ii) If bargaining proceeds according to the ultimatum game (with the trading partner as proposer), only the minimal investment level is subgame perfect, but any investment level is stochastically stable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 358.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0358

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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Keywords: Specific investments; opportunism; evolution; fairness;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Ewerhart, 2006. "The Effect of Sunk Costs on the Outcome of Alternating-Offers Bargaining Between Inequity-Averse Agents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 58(2), pages 184-203, April.
  2. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2000. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 357, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. Sebastian Kranz, 2013. "Relational Contracting, Repeated Negotiations, and Hold-Up," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000676, David K. Levine.
  4. Kranz, Sebastian, 2013. "Relational Contracting, Repeated Negotiations, and Hold-Up," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80047, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Olcina Vauteren Gonzalo & Calabuig Alcántara Vicente, 2007. "Cooperation and Cultural Transmission in a Coordination Game," Working Papers 201066, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  6. Olcina, Gonzalo & Penarrubia, Concepcion, 2004. "Hold up and intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 111-132, May.
  7. Andreozzi, Luciano, 2012. "Property rights and investments: An evolutionary approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-11.
  8. Troger, Thomas, 2002. "Double Auctions, Ex-Post Participation Constraints, and the Hold-Up Problem," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5qv060md, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  9. Birendra K. Rai, 2006. "Evolution of Division Rules," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-27, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  10. Kurtis Swope & Pamela Schmitt & John Cadigan & Ryan Wielgus, 2010. "Contracts, Behavior, and the Land-Assembly Problem:An Experimental Study," Departmental Working Papers 29, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
  11. Herbert Dawid & Joern Dermietzel, 2006. "How Robust is the Equal Split Norm? Responsive Strategies, Selection Mechanisms and the Need for Economic Interpretation of Simulation Parameters," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 371-397, November.
  12. Siemens, Ferdinand von, 2005. "Bargaining under Incomplete Information, Fairness, and the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 57, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  13. Andreozzi, Luciano, 2010. "An evolutionary theory of social justice: Choosing the right game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 320-329, September.
  14. Troger, Thomas, 2002. "Double Auctions, Ex-Post Participation Constraints, and the Hold-Up Problem," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3f2509gz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  15. Dawid, Herbert & MacLeod, W. Bentley, 2008. "Hold-up and the evolution of investment and bargaining norms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 26-52, January.
  16. Kevin Hasker, 2014. "The Emergent Seed: A Representation Theorem for Models of Stochastic Evolution and two formulas for Waiting Time," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000954, David K. Levine.
  17. L. Bagnoli & G. Negroni, 2013. "Egalitarianism. An evolutionary perspective," Working Papers wp888, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  18. Bahry, Donna L. & Wilson, Rick K., 2006. "Confusion or fairness in the field? Rejections in the ultimatum game under the strategy method," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 37-54, May.
  19. L. Bagnoli & G. Negroni, 2012. "On the coevolution of social norms in primitive societies," Working Papers wp858, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  20. Siemens, Ferdinand von, 2005. "Bargaining under Incomplete Information, Fairness, and the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Papers in Economics 518, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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