IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/manchs/v84y2016i3p313-339.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Strategic Capacity Investment under Hold-up Threats: The Role of Contract Length and Width

Author

Listed:
  • Laure Durand-Viel
  • Bertrand Villeneuve

Abstract

This article analyzes the impact of incomplete contracts’ length on investment in a bilateral relationship. The seller has the power to set the contract terms whereas the buyer decides on the investment level, which acts as a cap on future demand. Two-part tariffs succeed at implementing the optimal investment and consumption even if commitment is limited, and the contract’s duration is irrelevant. Interestingly, this efficient solution is rendered possible by subsidies on consumption during the contract. In other terms, duration matters hugely for the contract details (the timing of transfers), not for its performance. Under certain circumstances that we discuss, linear pricing may have to be used, which leads to suboptimal investment. We show that longer contracts are less efficient, meaning that a degree of completeness (pricing width) may be strictly complementary to another one (contract length). The buyer’s surplus increases with respect to the contract duration, whereas the seller loses more in profit than the social surplus decreases. A longer contract actually protects expropriable investors rather than investment itself.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Laure Durand-Viel & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2016. "Strategic Capacity Investment under Hold-up Threats: The Role of Contract Length and Width," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(3), pages 313-339, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:84:y:2016:i:3:p:313-339
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/manc.12100
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christian Hirschhausen & Anne Neumann, 2008. "Long-Term Contracts and Asset Specificity Revisited: An Empirical Analysis of Producer–Importer Relations in the Natural Gas Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(2), pages 131-143, March.
    2. James D. Reitzes & Glenn A. Woroch, 2008. "Competition for exclusive customers: comparing equilibrium and welfare under one-part and two-part pricing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(3), pages 1046-1086, August.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5372 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Price Adjustment in Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 47-83, April.
    5. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    6. Williamson, Oliver E, 1971. "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 112-123, May.
    7. Michael Waldman, 2010. "Competition, Monopoly, and Aftermarkets," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 54-91, April.
    8. Zhiqi Chen & Thomas Ross & W. Stanbury, 1998. "Refusals to Deal and Aftermarkets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(1), pages 131-151, April.
    9. Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-1093, December.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
    11. Hodaka Morita & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Durable Goods, Monopoly Maintenance, and Time Inconsistency," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 273-302, June.
    12. Castaneda, Marco A., 2006. "The hold-up problem in a repeated relationship," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 953-970, September.
    13. Victor P. Goldberg, 1976. "Regulation and Administered Contracts," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 426-448, Autumn.
    14. Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sergei Guriev & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2005. "Contracting on Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1369-1385, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:84:y:2016:i:3:p:313-339. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/semanuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.