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Cadillac Contracts and Up-Front Payments: Efficient Investment Under Expectation Damages

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  • Aaron S. Edlin

Abstract

This paper shows that up-front payments can play a crucial role in providing efficient investment incentives when contracts are incomplete. They can eliminate the overinvestment effect identified by Rogerson [1984] and Shavell [1980] when courts use an expectation damage remedy. This method extends to complex contracting situations if parties combine up-front payments with what we call 'Cadillac' contracts (contracts for a very high quality or quantity). This combination provides efficient investment incentives in complex contracting problems when an expectation damage remedy is accompanied by a broad duty to mitigate damages. This indicates that an expectation remedy is well-suited to multidimensional, but one-sided, investment problems, in contrast to specific performance, which Edlin and Reichelstein [1993] showed is well-suited to two-sided, but unidimensional, investment problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron S. Edlin, 1994. "Cadillac Contracts and Up-Front Payments: Efficient Investment Under Expectation Damages," NBER Working Papers 4915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4915
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Head & John C. Ries & Deborah L. Swenson, 1994. "The Attraction of Foreign Manufacturing Investments: Investment Promotion and Agglomeration Economies," NBER Working Papers 4878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Cutler, 1994. "Market Failure in Small Group Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. M'hand Fares, 2006. "Renegotiation Design and Contract Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 731-756, December.
    2. Göller, Daniel & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2009. "Breach Remedies Including Hybrid Investments," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 282, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Alexander Stremitzer, 2012. "Standard Breach Remedies, Quality Thresholds, and Cooperative Investments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 337-359.
    4. David Martimort & Aggey Semenov & Lars Stole, 2017. "A Theory of Contracts with Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 816-852.
    5. Göller, Daniel & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2014. "Breach remedies inducing hybrid investments," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 26-38.
    6. Alexander Stremitzer, 2012. "Standard Breach Remedies, Quality Thresholds, and Cooperative Investments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 337-359.
    7. Manuel Willington, 2013. "Hold Up Under Costly Litigation and Imperfect Courts of Law," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 1023-1055, October.
    8. Brooks, Richard & Stremitzer, Alexander, 2009. "On and Off Contract Remedies," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 290, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    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. Charles North, 2001. "Remedies for misrepresentation in applications in the presence of fraudulent intent," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(2), pages 162-176, June.
    11. Jean-Marc Bourgeon & Pierre Picard, 2017. "Nitpicky Insurers and the Law of Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 6669, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "Simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 169-188, January.
    13. Ishiguro, Shingo, 2002. "Endogenous Verifiability and Optimality in Agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 518-530, August.
    14. Erica L. Plambeck & Terry A. Taylor, 2007. "Implications of Breach Remedy and Renegotiation Design for Innovation and Capacity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(12), pages 1859-1871, December.
    15. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," MPRA Paper 12530, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Gordanier, John & Miao, Chun-Hui, 2011. "On the duration of technology licensing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 755-765.
    17. Plambeck, Erica L. & Taylor, Terry A., 2004. "Implications of Breach Remedy and Renegotiation for Design of Supply Contracts," Research Papers 1888, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    18. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2014. "Opportunism in Sequential Investment Settings: On Holdups and Holdouts," Working papers 2014-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    19. Ronen Avraham & Zhiyong Liu, 2006. "Incomplete Contracts with Asymmetric Information: Exclusive Versus Optional Remedies," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 523-561.
    20. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics
    • L - Industrial Organization

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