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A Simple Economic Teaching Experiment on the Hold-Up Problem

Author

Listed:
  • Dieter Balkenborg
  • Todd Kaplan
  • Timothy Miller

Abstract

The hold-up problem is central to the theory of incomplete contracts. This can occur if, after making a sunk investment in a relationship, one party can be taken advantage of by the other party, leading to inefficient underinvestment. The authors describe a simple teaching experiment that illustrates the hold-up problem, and address how to integrate it into a class.

Suggested Citation

  • Dieter Balkenborg & Todd Kaplan & Timothy Miller, 2012. "A Simple Economic Teaching Experiment on the Hold-Up Problem," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 377-385, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:4:p:377-385
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2012.714310
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    3. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2001. "The Hold-up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-17, January.
    4. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    5. Mark Harrison & Andrei Markevich, 2007. "Quantity Versus Quality in the Soviet Market for Weapons," Working Papers w0109, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    6. 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 811-837, September.
    7. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
    8. Coase, R H, 2000. "The Acquisition of Fisher Body by General Motors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 15-31, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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