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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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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0358.ps
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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  2. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2000. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 357, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  5. M. Kandori & G. Mailath & R. Rob, 1999. "Learning, Mutation and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 500, David K. Levine.
  6. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 115-38, January.
  7. Van Damme, Eric & Selten, Reinhard & Winter, Eyal, 1990. "Alternating bid bargaining with a smallest money unit," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 188-201, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "The Evolution of Bargaining Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 581-602, May.
  10. Noldeke Georg & Samuelson Larry, 1993. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 425-454, July.
  11. Jean Tirole, 1985. "Procurement and Renegotiation," Working papers 362, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Skyrms,Brian, 1996. "Evolution of the Social Contract," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521555838.
  13. Young H. P., 1993. "An Evolutionary Model of Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 145-168, February.
  14. repec:att:wimass:9517 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Saez-Marti, Maria & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1998. "Clever agents in Young's evolutionary bargaining model," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 281, Stockholm School of Economics.
  16. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 523-45, May.
  17. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 1999. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 363-93, April.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Young, H Peyton, 1998. "Conventional Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 773-92, October.
  22. 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.
  23. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-52, March.
  24. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
  25. repec:att:wimass:9529 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Binmore, Ken, et al, 1998. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1279-98, September.
  27. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1997. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers 9729r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  28. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  29. Binmore, K. & Proulx, C. & Samuelson, L. & Swierzbinski, J., 1996. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Working papers 9517r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  30. Binmore, K. & Piccione, M. & Samuelson, L., 1996. "Evolutionary Stability in Alternating-Offers Bargaining Games," Working papers 9603r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  31. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. D. Foster & P. Young, 2010. "Stochastic Evolutionary Game Dynamics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 493, David K. Levine.
  35. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
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