Haggling for Rents, Relational Contracts, and the Theory of the Firm
AbstractIn this paper, a formal rent-seeking theory of the firm is developed. The main idea is that integration (compared to non-integration) facilitates rent-seeking for the integrating party, but makes it harder for the integrated one. In a one-period model, this implies that the rent-seeking contest becomes more uneven and the parties rent-seek less. Here, integration is optimal. In the infinitely-repeated version of the model, it is also possible for the parties to enter a relational contract, under which each promises not to engage in rent-seeking. Such a contract must be self-enforcing, for it cannot be enforced by court. It is shown that integration makes the relational contract less easily sustainable, as, due to its cost advantage, the integrating party gains more from deviating than any party under non-integration. Hence, integration is preferred, if relational contracts are not sustainable, while, otherwise, non-integration may well be preferred. Moreover, it is shown that the modelâ€™s predictions are in line with many empirical facts on the choice of ownership structures.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 169.
Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Integration; non-integration; relational contracts; rent seeking;
Other versions of this item:
- Oliver Gürtler, 2010. "Haggling for Rents, Relational Contracts, and the Theory of the Firm," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 62(4), pages 359-377, October.
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
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