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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. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William Zame, 1997. "Clubs and the Market: Continuum Economies," UCLA Economics Working Papers 765, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Joseph Farrell and Suzanne Scotchmer., 1986. "Partnerships," Economics Working Papers 8616, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Harold L Cole & Edward C Prescott, 1997. "Valuation equilibrium with Clubs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 912, David K. Levine.
  8. 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.
  9. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  10. Mamoru Kaneko, 1980. "The Central Assignment Game and the Assignment Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 563, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  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. 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.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Training and Innovation in an Imperfect Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 445-64, July.
  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. Neil E. Gretsky & Joseph M. Ostroy & William R. Zame, 1990. "The Nonatomic Assignment Model," UCLA Economics Working Papers 605, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. Martine Quinzii, 1982. "Core and Competitive Equilibria with Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 644, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  20. Hart, Oliver D., 1980. "Perfect competition and optimal product differentiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 279-312, April.
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