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Does Evolution Solve the Hold-up Problem?

  • Ellingsen, Tore

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Robles, Jack

    (University of Colorado, Department of Economics)

The paper examines the theoretical foundations of the hold-up problem. At a first stage, one agent decides on the level of a relationship-specific investment. There is no contract, so at a second stage the agent must bargain with a trading partner over the surplus that the investment has generated. We show that the conventional underinvestment result hinges crucially both on the assumed bargaining game and on the choice of equilibrium concept. In particular, we prove the following two results. (i) If bargaining proceeds according to the Nash demand game, any investment level is subgame perfect, but only efficient outcomes are stochastically stable. (ii) If bargaining proceeds according to the ultimatum game (with the trading partner as proposer), only the minimal investment level is subgame perfect, but any investment level is stochastically stable.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0358.ps.zip
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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 358.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0358
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  1. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  2. D. Foster & P. Young, 2010. "Stochastic Evolutionary Game Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 493, David K. Levine.
  3. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  4. Saez-Marti, Maria & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1999. "Clever Agents in Young's Evolutionary Bargaining Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 268-279, June.
  5. Binmore, Ken & Piccione, Michele & Samuelson, Larry, 1998. "Evolutionary Stability in Alternating-Offers Bargaining Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 257-291, June.
  6. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  7. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of incomplete contracts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19354, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
  9. Binmore, K. & Proulx, C. & Samuelson, L. & Swierzbinski, J., 1996. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Working papers 9517r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Hackett, Steven C, 1994. "Is Relational Exchange Possible in the Absence of Reputations and Repeated Contact?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 360-89, October.
  11. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1995. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers 9529, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Raquel Fernandez & Jacob Glazer, 1989. "Striking for a Bargain Between Two Completely Informed Agents," NBER Working Papers 3108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Erik van Damme & Reinhard Selten & Eyal Winter, 1989. "Alternating Bid Bargaining with a Smallest Money Unit," Discussion Paper Serie A 253, University of Bonn, Germany.
  15. Ellingsen, Tore, 1995. "The Evolution of Bargaining Behavior," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 61, Stockholm School of Economics.
  16. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Procurement and Renegotiation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 235-59, April.
  17. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 475-494, October.
  18. Young H. P., 1993. "An Evolutionary Model of Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 145-168, February.
  19. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
  20. Binmore, K. & Piccione, M. & Samuelson, L., 1996. "Evolutionary Stability in Alternating-Offers Bargaining Games," Working papers 9603, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  21. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  22. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2147, David K. Levine.
  23. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521555838 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  25. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L. & Gale, J., 1993. "Learning to be Imperfect: The Ultimatum Game," Working papers 9325, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  26. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-61, October.
  27. Binmore, Ken, et al, 1998. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1279-98, September.
  28. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-60, March.
  29. Haller, Hans & Holden, Steinar, 1990. "A letter to the editor on wage bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 232-236, October.
  30. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  31. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  32. Ken Binmore & Larry Samuelson, 1999. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 363-393.
  33. H. Peyton Young, 1998. "Conventional Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 773-792.
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