Hold-up and Sequential Specific Investments
We explore the hold-up problem when trading parties can make specific investments simultaneously or sequentially. As previously emphasized in the literature, sequencing of investments can allow some projects to proceed that would not be feasible with a simultaneous regime. This is not always the case, however. A cost of sequencing investment is that it can disadvantage some parties, reducing their incentive to invest. The mere possibility of sequential investment can be detrimental to welfare; it can even prevent trade from occurring. This is a new result: it allows the choice about the timing of investment to be interpreted as a new form of hold-up. We also examine an investment game in which both parties would prefer to invest second (follow) rather than lead. This game displays some interesting dynamics. As the the number of potential investment periods is increased, the subgame perfect equilibrium can switch between a prisoners’ dilemma and a coordination game.
|Date of creation:||2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia|
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/economics
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- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1985.
"Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation,"
367, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Smirnov, V. & Wait, A., 2001.
"Timing of Investments, Hold-up and Total Welfare,"
Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
808, The University of Melbourne.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- 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.
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"Foundations of Incomplete Contracts,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
- 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.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1846, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 6726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Darwin V. Neher, 1999. "Staged Financing: An Agency Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 255-274.
- Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-276.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
- Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, December.
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