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Transaction Costs and the Robustness of the Coase Theorem

This paper explores the extent to which the presence of ex-ante transaction costs may lead to failures of the Coase Theorem. In particular we identify and investigate the basic 'hold-up problem' which arises whenever the parties to a Coasian negotiation have to pay some ex-ante costs for the negotiation to take place. We then show that a 'Coasian solution' to this hold-up problem is not available. This is because a Coasian solution to the hold-up problem typically entails a negotiation about the payment of the costs associated with the future negotiation which in turn is associated with a fresh set of ex-ante costs, and hence with a new hold-up problem

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~03-03-27.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~03-03-27
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, . "Costly Coasian Contracts," Penn CARESS Working Papers c5b2efc4326ca8bb8162440d6, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Georg Nöldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1992. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation - A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Paper Serie A 417, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 1993.
  3. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 252, David K. Levine.
  6. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1992. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 600-614, June.
  7. Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
  8. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1993. "Renegotiation in Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(2), pages 303-23, March.
  9. Abrea Dilip & Pearce David & Stacchetti Ennio, 1993. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 217-240, August.
  10. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 1777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Working papers 367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Renegotiation-Proof Implementation and Time Preferences," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1990/215, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  14. Joseph Farrell and Eric Maskin., 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Economics Working Papers 8759, University of California at Berkeley.
  15. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-54, April.
  16. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 1989. "Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 198, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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