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An Experimental Comparison of Reliance Levels under Alternative Breach Remedies

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  • Sloof, Randolph
  • Leuven, Edwin
  • Oosterbeek, Hessel
  • Sonnemans, Joep

Abstract

Breach remedies serve an important role in protecting relationship-specific investments. Theory predicts that some common remedies protect too well and induce overinvestment, either though complete insurance against potential separation or the possibility that breach is prevented by increasing the damage payment due through the investment made. In this article we report on an experiment designed to address whether these two motives show up in practice. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that overinvestment does not occur under liquidated damages. In the case of expectation damages, the full-insurance motive indeed appears to be operative. In the case of reliance damages, both motives are at work, as predicted. Copyright 2003 by the RAND Corporation.

Suggested Citation

  • Sloof, Randolph & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Sonnemans, Joep, 2003. " An Experimental Comparison of Reliance Levels under Alternative Breach Remedies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 205-222, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:34:y:2003:i:2:p:205-22
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2016. "Stipulated Damages as a Rent-Extraction Mechanism: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 235-273, June.
    2. Morita, Hodaka & Servátka, Maroš, 2013. "Group identity and relation-specific investment: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 95-109.
    3. Randolph Sloof & Hessel Oosterbeek & Joep Sonnemans, 2007. "On the Importance of Default Breach Remedies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 5-22, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Landeo, Claudia & Spier, Kathryn, 2012. "It Takes Three to Tango: An Experimental Study of Contracts with Stipulated Damages," Working Papers 2012-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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