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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 Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 253.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:253
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  1. Kaneko, Mamoru, 1982. "The central assignment game and the assignment markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2-3), pages 205-232, September.
  2. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1998. "Clubs and the Market: Continuum Economies," Microeconomics 9802002, EconWPA.
  3. Harold L. Cole & Edward C. Prescott, 1996. "Valuation equilibria with clubs," Staff Report 174, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Ellickson, Bryan & Grodal, Birgit & Scotchmer, Suzanne & Zame, William R., 2001. "Clubs and the Market: Large Finite Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 40-77, November.
  5. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
  6. 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.
  7. Joseph Farrell and Suzanne Scotchmer., 1986. "Partnerships," Economics Working Papers 8616, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Gretsky, Neil E & Ostroy, Joseph M & Zame, William R, 1992. "The Nonatomic Assignment Model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(1), pages 103-27, January.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Daron Acemoglu, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 445-464.
  17. 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.
  18. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
  19. Hart, Oliver D., 1980. "Perfect competition and optimal product differentiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-312, April.
  20. Martine Quinzii, 1982. "Core and Competitive Equilibria with Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 644, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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