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Unobservable Investment and the Hold-Up Problem

  • F. Gul

We study a two-person bargaining problem in which the buyer may invest and increase his valuation of the object before bargaining. We show that if all offers are made by the seller and the time between offers is small, then the buyer invests efficiently and the seller extracts all of the surplus. Hence, bargaining with frequently repeated offers remedies the hold-up problem even when the agent who makes the relation-specific investment has no bargaining power and contracting is not possible. We consider alternative formulations with uncertain gains from trade or two-sided investment.

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Paper provided by Economics Department, Princeton University in its series Princeton Economic Theory Papers with number 00s10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:prinet:00s10
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  1. 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.
  2. Hermalin, Benjamin E & Katz, Michael L, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Verifiability: The Effects of Renegotiation in Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1735-53, November.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9524 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Larry M. Ausubel & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 201, David K. Levine.
  5. Ma, C.A., 1991. "Renegotiation and Optimality in Agency Contracts," Papers 29, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
  7. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Working papers 494, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Matthews, Steven A, 1995. "Renegotiation of Sales Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 567-89, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Faruk Gul & Hugo Sonnenschein & Robert Wilson, 2010. "Foundations of Dynamic Monopoly and the Coase Conjecture," Levine's Working Paper Archive 232, David K. Levine.
  12. Rogerson, William P, 1992. "Contractual Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 777-93, October.
  13. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 511-31, May.
  14. Ma, Ching-to Albert, 1991. "Adverse Selection in Dynamic Moral Hazard," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 255-75, February.
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