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Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?

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  • Leonardo Felli
  • Kevin Roberts

Abstract

In an environment in which heterogenous buyers and sellers undertake ex-ante investments, the presence of market competition for matches provides incentives for investment but may leave inefficiencies that take the form of hold-up and coordination problems. This paper shows, using an explicitly non-cooperative model, that, when matching is assortative and investments precede market competition, buyers' investments are constrained efficient while sellers marginally underinvest with respect to what would be constrained efficient. However, the overall extent of this inefficiency may be large. Multiple equilibria may arise; one equilibrium is characterized by efficient matches but there can be additional equilibria with coordination failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2011. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 561, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:561
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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