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Transaction Costs and the Robustness of the Coase Theorem

  • Luca Anderlini
  • Leonardo Felli

This paper explores the extent to which the presence of ex-ante transaction costs may lead to failures of the Coase Theorem. In particular we identify and investigate the basic 'hold-up problem' which arises whenever the parties to a Coasian negotiation have to pay some ex-ante costs for the negotiation to take place. We then show that a 'Coasian solution' to this hold-up problem is not available. This is because a Coasian solution to the hold-up problem typically entails a negotation about the payment of the costs associated with the future negotiation which in turn is associated with a fresh set of ex-ante costs, and hence with a new hold-up problem.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series with number 409.

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Date of creation: Feb 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:409
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1997. "Costly Coasian Contracts," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9704, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1990/215, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Joseph Farrell and Eric Maskin., 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Economics Working Papers 8759, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1993. "Renegotiation in Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(2), pages 303-23, March.
  10. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 6274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
  13. Abrea Dilip & Pearce David & Stacchetti Ennio, 1993. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 217-240, August.
  14. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 1989. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 198, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  15. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-54, April.
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