IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Specificity Revisited: The Role of Cross-Investments

  • Matthew Ellman

Previous analysis has shown that traders may opt for specific technologies with no joint productivity advantage as a way to commit themselves to trading jointly, but only when long-term contracting is infeasible. This paper proves that specificity can also be optimal (since it relaxes the budget balance constraint) in settings with long-term contracting. Traders will opt for specificity when one trader makes a cross-investment and either (1) this cross-investment has a direct externality on the other trader, (2) both parties invest or (3) private information is present. The specificity (e.g. from non-salvageable investments, specific assets and technologies, narrow business strategies, and exclusivity restrictions) is equally effective regardless of which trader's alternative trade payoff is reduced. Specificity supports long-term contracts in a broad range of settings - both with and without renegotiation. The theory also offers a novel perspective on franchising and vertical integration. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewj006
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 234-257

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:22:y:2006:i:1:p:234-257
Contact details of provider: Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/
Email:

Order Information: Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Maskin, Eric & Moore, John, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56, January.
  2. Schwartz, Alan & Watson, Joel, 2001. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2wh8m7bv, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. Yeon-Koo Che & Jozsef Sakovics, 2004. "Contractual Remedies to the Holdup Problem: A Dynamic Perspective," ESE Discussion Papers 100, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  4. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1997. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," CEPR Discussion Papers 1645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. repec:rus:hseeco:71610 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Macleod, W.B. & Malcomson, J.M., 1991. "Investments, Hold Up And The Reform Of Market Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 9114, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  8. Francine Lafontaine & Joanne E. Oxley, 2004. "International Franchising Practices in Mexico: Do Franchisors Customize Their Contracts?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 95-123, 03.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1994. "Benefits of Narrow Business Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1330-49, December.
  10. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 2002. "On partial contracting," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9627, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts And The Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84, February.
  12. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
  13. Thomas P. Lyon, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, April.
  14. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-85, July.
  15. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  16. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  17. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
  19. Werner, Raub & Keren, Gideon, 1993. "Hostages as a commitment device : A game-theoretic model and an empirical test of some scenarios," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-67, May.
  20. Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "The Theory of the Firm and the Structure of the Franchise Contract," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 223-33, April.
  21. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2000. "Exclusive Contracts and Protection of Investments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 603-633, Winter.
  22. David de Meza & Marianno Selvaggi, 2003. "Please Hold me Up: Why Firms Grant Exclusive Dealing Contracts," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/066, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  23. David de Meza & Mariano Selvaggi, 2004. "Exclusive Contracts Foster Relationship-Specific Investment," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/105, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  24. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. Sugato Bhattacharyya & Francine Lafontaine, 1995. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard and the Nature of Share Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 761-781, Winter.
  26. Alan Schwartz, 2004. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 2-31, April.
  27. Mukesh Eswaran & Ashok Kotwal, 1984. "The Moral Hazard of Budget-Breaking," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 578-581, Winter.
  28. Joel S. Demski & David E.M. Sappington, 1991. "Resolving Double Moral Hazard Problems with Buyout Agreements," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 232-240, Summer.
  29. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:22:y:2006:i:1:p:234-257. 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: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.