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Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting

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  • Donald B. Hausch
  • Yeon-Koo Che

Abstract

Recent articles have shown that contracts can support the efficient outcome for bilateral trade even in the face of specific investments and incomplete contracting. These studies typically considered 'selfish' investments that benefit the investor (e.g., the seller's investment reduces her production costs). The authors find very different results for 'cooperative' investments that directly benefit the investor's partner (e.g., the seller's investment improves the buyer's value of the good). Most importantly, if committing not to renegotiate the contract is impossible, then contracting has no value, i.e., the parties cannot do better than to abandon contracting altogether in favor of ex post negotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:1:p:125-147
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.1.125
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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