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Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W

Abstract

Consider a seller and a buyer who write a contract. After that, the seller produces a good. She can influence the expected quality of the good by making unobservable investments. Only the seller learns the realized quality. Finally, trade can occur. It is always ex post efficient to trade. Yet, it may be impossible to achieve the first best, even though the risk-neutral parties are symmetrically informed at the contracting stage and complete contracts can be written. The second best is characterized by distortions that are reminiscent of adverse selection models (i.e., models with precontractual private information but without hidden actions).

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitz, Patrick W, 2009. "Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," CEPR Discussion Papers 7584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7584
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    Cited by:

    1. Kawai, Keiichi, 2015. "Reputation for quality and adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 47-59.
    2. Bester, Helmut, 2013. "Investments and the holdup problem in a matching market," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 302-311.
    3. Guillaume Roger, 2016. "A Revelation Mechanism for Soft Information under Moral Hazard," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(5), pages 752-763, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    common values; hidden action; hidden information; hold-up problem;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

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