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Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights and Endogenous Outside Options

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  • Antonio Nicita

    ()

  • Massimiliamo Vatiro

    ()

Abstract

This paper extends the framework provided by the so-called GHM approach to a context of endogenous outside options, showing how the optimality of property rights assignment might be reversed. In some cases, non-owners could over-invest in specific assets while having mere access to property rights might not prevent hold-up. Our conclusions suggest that in order to reach the desired optimality features, the design of ownership structure should take into account the dynamics of outside options.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Nicita & Massimiliamo Vatiro, 2008. "Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights and Endogenous Outside Options," Department of Economics University of Siena 545, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:545
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    File URL: http://repec.deps.unisi.it/quaderni/545.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Chatterjee Kalyan & Chiu Y. Stephen, 2007. "When Does Competition Lead to Efficient Investments?," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-39, July.
    3. 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.
    4. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386.
    5. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Thomas P. Lyon, 2004. "Buyer-Option Contracts Restored: Renegotiation, Inefficient Threats, and the Hold-Up Problem," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, April.
    7. Patrick Bolton & Michael D. Whinston, 1993. "Incomplete Contracts, Vertical Integration, and Supply Assurance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 121-148.
    8. Anke S. Kessler & Christoph Lülfesmann, 2006. "The Theory of Human Capital Revisited: on the Interaction of General and Specific Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 903-923, October.
    9. Edlin, Aaron S & Hermalin, Benjamin E, 2000. "Contract Renegotiation and Options in Agency Problems," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 395-423, October.
    10. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-271, May.
    11. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    12. 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.
    13. John Sutton, 1986. "Non-Cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 709-724.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    outside options; property rights allocation; hold-up problem;

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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