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Holdup, search, and inefficiency

  • Shingo Ishiguro


This paper investigates the holdup problem in the dynamic search market where buyers and sellers search for their trading partners and specific investments are made after match but before trade. We show that frictionless (competitive) market imposes severe limitations on attainable efficiencies: Markets with small friction make the holdup problem more serious than those with large friction because in any equilibrium, whether stationary or non-stationary, investment must be dropped down to the minimum level and trade must be delayed with positive probability.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 307-338

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:44:y:2010:i:2:p:307-338
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  1. Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2001. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 414, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Hardman Moore, John & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 60, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2001. "Competing Premarital Investment," Working Papers peters-01-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
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  9. Yeon-Koo Che & Jozsef Sakovics, 2001. "A Dynamic Theory of Holdup," ESE Discussion Papers 74, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  10. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Samuelson, L., 1988. "Disagreement In Markets With Matching And Bargaining," Papers 9-86-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, . "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Large Economies," CARESS Working Papres 00-05, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  14. Cai, Hongbin, 2000. "Delay in Multilateral Bargaining under Complete Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 260-276, August.
  15. Sakovics Jozsef, 1993. "Delay in Bargaining Games with Complete Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 78-95, February.
  16. Roman Inderst, 2001. "Screening in a Matching Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 849-868.
  17. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
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  19. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny, 1995. "Negative Externalities May Cause Delay in Negotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1321-35, November.
  20. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
  21. de Meza, David & Lockwood, Ben, 2004. "Too Much Investment : A Problem Of Coordination Failure," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 703, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  24. Busch, L-A. & Wen, Q., 1991. "Perfect Equilibria in a Negotiation Model," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9108, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  25. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2004. "Gradualism in Bargaining and Contribution Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 975-1000.
  26. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  27. Armstrong, Mark, 2006. "Price discrimination," MPRA Paper 4693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Larry Samuelson, 1992. "Disagreement in Markets with Matching and Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 177-185.
  29. Arial Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Decentralized Trading, Strategic Behaviour and the Walrasian Outcome," Levine's Working Paper Archive 622, David K. Levine.
  30. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
  31. Merlo, Antonio & Wilson, Charles A, 1995. "A Stochastic Model of Sequential Bargaining with Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 371-99, March.
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