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On the Relation between Asset Ownership and Specific Investments

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  • Sonnemans, Joep
  • Oosterbeek, Hessel
  • Sloof, Randolp

Abstract

Experimental results are presented for a simplified version of Hart's (1995) theory of the firm. Theory predicts that investment levels remain constant when investors' no-trade pay-offs increase, if these pay-offs are threat points. While they may decrease when no-trade pay-offs are outside options. Our results support these predictions in a relative sense. Average investment levels exceed the predicted level. Actual investment behaviour is consistent with the outcomes of the bargaining stage. The play of the game is supported by a reciprocity mechanism in which non-investors consider higher investment levels as fair behaviour which deserves a reward. Investors anticipate this.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:111:y:2001:i:474:p:791-820
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morita, Hodaka & Servátka, Maroš, 2013. "Group identity and relation-specific investment: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 95-109.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Tougareva, Elena & Fischbacher, Urs, 2014. "Do high stakes and competition undermine fair behaviour? Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 354-363.
    3. Sloof, Randolph & Sonnemans, Joep & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2004. "Specific investments, holdup, and the outside option principle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1399-1410, December.
    4. Sigbjørn Birkeland, 2013. "Negotiation under Possible Third-Party Resolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 281-299.
    5. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:706-725 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kusterer, David J. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "The management of innovation: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 706-725.
    7. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, "undated". "Why Social Preferences Matter - The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition," IEW - Working Papers 084, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. repec:eee:jeborg:v:144:y:2017:i:c:p:153-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2017. "Incomplete contracts, shared ownership, and investment incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 153-165.
    10. Mathias Erlei & J. Philipp Siemer, 2014. "Endogenous Property Rights in a Hold-up Experiment," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 237-270, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Joep Sonnemans, 2007. "Who should invest in specific training?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(2), pages 329-357, April.
    13. Randolph Sloof, 2005. "Finite Horizon Bargaining With Outside Options And Threat Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 109-142, March.
    14. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Elena Tougareva, "undated". "Do High Stakes and Competition Undermine Fairness? Evidence from Russia," IEW - Working Papers 120, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Sloof, Randolph, 2008. "Price-setting power vs. private information: An experimental evaluation of their impact on holdup," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 469-486, April.
    16. Randolph Sloof, 2003. "Price-setting Power versus Private Information," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-099/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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