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Can Coasean bargaining justify Pigouvian taxation?

  • Stephanie Rosenkranz
  • Patrick W. Schmitz

The fact that according to the celebrated Coase Theorem rational parties always try to exploit all gains from trade is usually taken as an argument against the necessity of government intervention through Pigouvian taxation in order to correct externalities. However, we show that the hold-up problem, which occurs if non-verifiable investments have external effects and parties cannot be prevented from always exploiting ex post gains from trade through Coasean bargaining, may be solved by government intervention. In this sense, the impossibility to rule out Coasean bargaining (after investments are sunk) may in fact justify Pigouvian taxation.

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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse7_2006.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse7_2006.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse7_2006
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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  1. Rogerson, William P, 1992. "Contractual Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 777-93, October.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
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  10. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," MPRA Paper 12530, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  18. 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.
  19. F. Gul, 2000. "Unobservable Investment and the Hold-Up Problem," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s10, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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  21. Muthoo, Abhinay, 1998. "Sunk Costs and the Inefficiency of Relationship-Specific Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 97-106, February.
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