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Opportunism in Sequential Investment Settings: On Holdups and Holdouts

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Kathleen Segerson

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

The holdup and holdout problems arise in different contexts, but they share certain fundamental similarities that have not generally been recognized. In particular, both involve activities requiring an up-front, non-salvageable investment, and both require the investor to purchase an input, the price of which is determined by bargaining after the initial investment has been made. The effect of the up-front investment is to reduce the investor’s bargaining power with the seller of the input. The anticipation of the outcome of this bargaining creates a disincentive for the investor to undertake the project in the first place, causing some efficient projects to be foregone. Remedies for the two problems, though outwardly different, share features that reflect the common source of their inefficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-08
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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2014-08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, January.
    2. William P. Rogerson, 1984. "Efficient Reliance and Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 39-53, Spring.
    3. Edlin, Aaron S, 1996. "Cadillac Contracts and Up-Front Payments: Efficient Investment under Expectation Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 98-118, April.
    4. Strange William C., 1995. "Information, Holdouts, and Land Assembly," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 317-332, November.
    5. Asami, Yasushi, 1985. "A game-theoretic approach to the division of profits from economic land development," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 233-246, May.
    6. Steven Shavell, 1980. "Damage Measures for Breach of Contract," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 466-490, Autumn.
    7. 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.
    8. Arthur Zillante & Peter M. Schwarz & Dustin C. Read, 2014. "Land Aggregation Using Contingent and Guaranteed Payments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 702-727, January.
    9. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Holdup problem; holdout problem; non-salvageable investments; eminent domain; contracts; vertical integration;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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