IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Land Aggregation Using Contingent and Guaranteed Payments


  • Arthur Zillante

    () (Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA; corresponding author.)

  • Peter M. Schwarz

    () (Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA;)

  • Dustin C. Read

    () (Director of the Center for Real Estate, Department of Finance, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA;)


This article explores the use of alternative payment mechanisms to overcome the holdout problem when multiple parcels of land must be acquired to complete a real-estate development project. Purchase offers contingent upon successful land aggregation are compared to combination offers containing both guaranteed and contingent payments to determine which approach better mitigates holdout. The distribution of gains between developers and landowners is also examined. The results of a series of economic experiments suggest that contingent offers expedite land aggregation but developer payoffs are higher when combination offers are used. The results offer insight to real-estate developers participating in land aggregation and inform government entities considering the necessity of public-sector intervention in real-estate markets to encourage desired development projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Zillante & Peter M. Schwarz & Dustin C. Read, 2014. "Land Aggregation Using Contingent and Guaranteed Payments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 702-727, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:80:3:y:2014:p:702-727

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gopi Shah Goda & Colleen Flaherty Manchester & Aaron Sojourner, 2012. "What Will My Account Really Be Worth? An Experiment on Exponential Growth Bias and Retirement Saving," Working Papers WR-873-2, RAND Corporation.
    2. Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2004. "Plan Design and 401(K) Savings Outcomes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 275-298, June.
    3. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2015. "Would People Behave Differently If They Better Understood Social Security? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 275-299, February.
    4. Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Sendhil Mullainathan & Jonathan Zinman, 2016. "Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(12), pages 3393-3411, December.
    5. Papke, Leslie E. & Poterba, James M., 1995. "Survey evidence on employer match rates and employee saving behavior in 401(k) plans," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 313-317, September.
    6. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:378-395 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    9. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
    10. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2011. "How individuals choose health insurance: An experimental analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 799-819, August.
    11. Tibor Besedeš & Cary Deck & Sudipta Sarangi & Mikhael Shor, 2012. "Age Effects and Heuristics in Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 580-595, May.
    12. Bassett, William F. & Fleming, Michael J. & Rodrigues, Anthony P., 1998. "How Workers Use 401(K) Plans: The Participation, Contribution, and Withdrawal Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(2), pages 263-289, June.
    13. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Katherine L. Milkman, 2015. "The Effect of Providing Peer Information on Retirement Savings Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 1161-1201, June.
    14. Gopi Shah Goda & Colleen Flaherty Manchester & Aaron Sojourner, 2012. "What Will My Account Really Be Worth? An Experiment on Exponential Growth Bias and Retirement Saving," NBER Working Papers 17927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
    16. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Utkus, Stephen P. & Yang, Tongxuan (Stella), 2007. "Turning Workers Into Savers? Incentives, Liquidity, and Choice in 401(K) Plan Design," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(3), pages 469-489, September.
    17. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    18. Leslie E. Papke, 1995. "Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence from Plan Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 311-325.
    19. Alicia H. Munnell & Francesca Golub-Sass & Dan Muldoon, 2009. "An Update on 401(k) Plans: Insights From the 2007 SCF," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-5, Center for Retirement Research, revised Mar 2009.
    20. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2006. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 607-643, August.
    21. Choi, James J. & Haisley, Emily & Kurkoski, Jennifer & Massey, Cade, 2017. "Small cues change savings choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 378-395.
    22. Barbara O’Neill, 2007. "Overcoming Inertia: Do Automated Saving and Investing Strategies Work?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 321-335, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Isaac, R. Mark & Kitchens, Carl & Portillo, Javier E., 2016. "Can buyer “mobility” reduce aggregation failures in land-assembly?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 16-30.
    2. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2014. "Opportunism in Sequential Investment Settings: On Holdups and Holdouts," Working papers 2014-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Kitchens, Carl & Roomets, Alex, 2015. "Dealing with eminent domain," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 22-31.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law


    Access and download statistics


    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:sej:ancoec:v:80:3:y:2014:p:702-727. 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: (Laura Razzolini). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.