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Endogenous Property Rights in a Hold up-Experiment

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In a hold-up experiment designed to test theoretical predictions following from Hart (1995) and deMeza/Lockwood (1998) regarding investment behavior Sonnemans et al. (2001) (SOS) find only a partial confirmation of theory. According to SOS these deviations from standard theory can be explained by positive reciprocal behavior. In this paper, we replicate the experiment by SOS and add another group of treatments in which asset ownership is endogenized by auctioning off the assets. Our experiment shows that the results by SOS crucially depend on the ownership structure being exogenously assigned by the experimenter. We present experimental evidence that, by and large, corroborates the theoretical predictions made by Hart (1995).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal) in its series TUC Working Papers in Economics with number 0002.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tuc:tucewp:0002

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Keywords: property rights; hold-up; experiment; endogenous ownership structure;

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  1. Hoffman, Elizabeth & Spitzer, Matthew L, 1982. "The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 73-98, April.
  2. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  3. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  5. Hackett, Steven C, 1994. "Is Relational Exchange Possible in the Absence of Reputations and Repeated Contact?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 360-89, October.
  6. Sloof, Randolph & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Riedl, Arno & Sonnemans, Joep, 2006. "Breach remedies, reliance and renegotiation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 263-296, September.
  7. Hackett, Steven C, 1993. "Incomplete Contracting: A Laboratory Experimental Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 274-97, April.
  8. Sonnemans, Joep & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Sloof, Randolp, 2001. "On the Relation between Asset Ownership and Specific Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 791-820, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Mathias Erlei & Wiebke Roß, 2013. "Bounded Rationality as an Essential Ingredient of the Holdup Problem," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0009, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).

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