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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. Hart, Oliver D., 1980. "Perfect competition and optimal product differentiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-312, April.
  2. Lewis Makowski & Joseph Ostroy, 2010. "Appropriation and Efficiency: A Revision of the First Theorem of Welfare Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1386, David K. Levine.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ellickson, Bryan & Grodal, Birgit & Scotchmer, Suzanne & Zane, William R., 1997. "clubs and the Market: Large Finite Economies," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt10k1b44j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Kaneko, Mamoru, 1982. "The central assignment game and the assignment markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2-3), pages 205-232, September.
  8. Bryan Ellickson and Birgit Grodal, Suzanne Scotchmer, and William R. Zame., 1997. "Clubs and the Market: Continuum Economies," Economics Working Papers 97-254, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Gretsky, Neil E & Ostroy, Joseph M & Zame, William R, 1992. "The Nonatomic Assignment Model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 103-27, January.
  10. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  11. Farrell, Joseph & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1986. "Partnerships," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49d211x4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 445-64, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R Zame, 2003. "Clubs and the Market," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000754, David K. Levine.
    • Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1185-1218, September.
  15. Martine Quinzii, 1982. "Core and Competitive Equilibria with Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 644, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Hart, Oliver D, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition in a Large Economy with Differentiated Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-30, January.
  17. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  18. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  19. Cole, Harold L. & Prescott, Edward C., 1997. "Valuation Equilibrium with Clubs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 19-39, May.
  20. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
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