IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mar/magkse/200909.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Contracting still matters! Or: How to design a letter of intent

Author

Listed:
  • Evelyn Korn

    () (Philipps-University Marburg)

  • Stephan Meisenzahl

    () (Philipps-University Marburg)

Abstract

Any cooperation that profits from relation-specific investments suffers from the well-known hold-up problem. If investments are not enforceable by an outside authority, the gains fall prey to individual opportunism caused by a free-rider problem. If, in addition, individual investments exhibit positive cross effects, Che and Hausch (1999) provide a negative result and show that contracts cannot overcome the hold up due to a lack of verifiable commitment. This paper develops a mechanism that provides such a commitment device: (1) It introduces an acknowledgement game that procures reliable. (2) It embeds the original contracting problem into two institutional designs - a market based one and a private design - that support enforcement. These two devices reestablish efficient investments as enforceable results of a contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelyn Korn & Stephan Meisenzahl, 2009. "Contracting still matters! Or: How to design a letter of intent," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200909, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200909
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/09-2009_korn.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    3. Joel Watson, 2007. "Contract, Mechanism Design, and Technological Detail," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 55-81, January.
    4. Eric Maskin & John Moore, 1999. "Implementation and Renegotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 39-56.
    5. John Hagedoorn & Rajneesh Narula, "undated". "Innovating through strategic alliances: moving towards international partnerships and contractual agreements," STEP Report series 199805, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    7. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    8. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    9. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Should Contractual Clauses that Forbid Renegotiation Always be Enforced?," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 315-329, October.
    10. Hagedoorn, John, 2002. "Inter-firm R&D partnerships: an overview of major trends and patterns since 1960," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 477-492, May.
    11. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    12. Maskin, Eric, 2002. "On indescribable contingencies and incomplete contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 725-733, May.
    13. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    14. Josh Lerner & Ulrike Malmendier, 2010. "Contractibility and the Design of Research Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 214-246, March.
    15. Steven Shavell, 2007. "Contractual Holdup and Legal Intervention," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 325-354, June.
    16. James R. Brennan & Joel Watson, 2013. "The Renegotiation-Proofness Principle and Costly Renegotiation," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-20, July.
    17. 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.
    18. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    19. Alan Schwartz, 2004. "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 2-31, April.
    20. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1993. "Judicial Modification of Contracts between Sophisticated Parties: A More Complete View of Incomplete Contracts and Their Breach," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 230-255, October.
    21. De Fraja, Gianni, 1999. "After You Sir. Hold-Up, Direct Externalities, and Sequential Investment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 22-39, January.
    22. Alan Schwartz & Joel Watson, "undated". "The Law and Economics of Costly Contracting," Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy Working Paper Series yale_lepp-1004, Yale Law School John M. Olin Center for Studies in Law, Economics, and Public Policy.
    23. Jolls, Christine, 1997. "Contracts as Bilateral Commitments: A New Perspective on Contract Modification," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 203-237, January.
    24. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
    25. Edlin, Aaron S & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1996. "Holdups, Standard Breach Remedies, and Optimal Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 478-501, June.
    26. Victor P. Goldberg, 1976. "Regulation and Administered Contracts," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(2), pages 426-448, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200909. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernd Hayo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vamarde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.