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Can Job Competition Prevent Hold-Ups?

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  • Jansen, Marcel

    () (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Abstract

We consider an economy in which firms need to invest in capital before they can advertise a job, while applicants may have to compete for jobs. Our aim is to investigate how this competition affects the investment decisions of firms. Our first result shows that the economy always generates the right number of jobs. However, with random search firms under-invest in capital due to a hold-up problem. In contrast, if workers can direct their search to firms with different capital levels, the equilibrium is efficient. This result contrasts sharply with the predictions of models with ex post bargaining that never yield an efficient allocation. Moreover, our results extend the efficiency of auction mechanisms to an environment with non-contractible investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Jansen, Marcel, 2004. "Can Job Competition Prevent Hold-Ups?," IZA Discussion Papers 988, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp988
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cole, Harold L. & Mailath, George J. & Postlewaite, Andrew, 2001. "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Large Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 333-373, December.
    2. Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2016. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(329), pages 172-200, 01.
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    Cited by:

    1. Conley, John P. & Neilson, William, 2009. "Endogenous games and equilibrium adoption of social norms and ethical constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 761-774, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; hold-up; search; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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