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Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights and Endogenous Outside Options

  • Antonio Nicita


  • Massimiliamo Vatiro


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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 545.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:545
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  1. 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.
  2. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:2:p:361-386 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Whinston, Michael D, 1993. "Incomplete Contracts, Vertical Integration, and Supply Assurance," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 121-48, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-71, May.
  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. Sutton, John, 1986. "Non-cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 709-24, October.
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