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Sequential Investments and Options to Own


  • Nöldeke, Georg
  • Schmidt, Klaus M.


This paper analyses the investment incentives given by contingent ownership structures that are prevalent in joint ventures. We consider a variation of the standard hold-up problem where two parties make relationship-specific investments sequentially in order to generate a joint surplus in the future. In many interesting cases, including investments in human and in physical capital, the following ownership structure implements first-best investments: one party owns the firm initially, while the other party has the option to buy the firm at a set price at a later date. This result is robust to the possibility of renegotiation and uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1997. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," CEPR Discussion Papers 1645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1645

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Incomplete Contracts; Options and Convertible Securities; Property Rights;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure


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