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Efficient Non-Contractible Investments

  • Harold L. Cole
  • George J. Mailath
  • Andrew Postlewaite

This paper addresses the question of whether agents will invest efficiently in attributes that will increase their productivity in subsequent matches with other individuals. We present a two-sided matching model in which buyers and sellers make investment decisions prior to a matching stage. Once matched, the buyer and seller bargain over the transfer price. In contrast to most matching models, preferences over possible matches are affected by decisions made before the matching process. We show that if bargaining respects the existence of outside options (in the sense that the resulting allocation is in the core of the assignment game), then efficient decisions can always be sustained in equilibrium. However, there may also be inefficient equilibria. Our analysis identifies a potential source of inefficiency not present in most matching models.

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Paper provided by Penn Economics Department in its series Penn CARESS Working Papers with number 08d6793d32cab8f6e1f46dac0dbb3611.

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Handle: RePEc:cla:penntw:08d6793d32cab8f6e1f46dac0dbb3611
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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 445-464.
  2. Neil E. Gretsky & Joseph M. Ostroy & William R. Zame, 1990. "The Nonatomic Assignment Model," UCLA Economics Working Papers 605, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Hart, Oliver D., 1980. "Perfect competition and optimal product differentiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-312, April.
  4. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William Zame, 1997. "Clubs and the Market: Continuum Economies," UCLA Economics Working Papers 765, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Joseph Farrell & Suzanne Scotchmer, 1988. "Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 279-297.
  7. 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.
  8. Martine Quinzii, 1982. "Core and Competitive Equilibria with Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 644, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1185-1218, September.
  10. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
  12. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market: Large Finite Economies," Discussion Papers 99-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  13. Kamecke, Ulrich, 1992. "On the uniqueness of the solution to a large linear assignment problem," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 509-521.
  14. Makowski, Louis & Ostroy, Joseph M, 1995. "Appropriation and Efficiency: A Revision of the First Theorem of Welfare Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 808-27, September.
  15. Daron Acemoglu, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804.
  16. Oliver D. Hart, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition in a Large Economy with Differentiated Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-30.
  17. Harold L. Cole & Edward C. Prescott, 1996. "Valuation equilibria with clubs," Staff Report 174, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Cole Harold Linh & Mailath George J. & Postlewaite Andrew, 2001. "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Finite Economies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-34, March.
  19. Mamoru Kaneko, 1980. "The Central Assignment Game and the Assignment Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 563, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  20. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
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