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Costly Coasian Contracts

Опубликовано на портале: 29-04-2005
LSE, STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series. 1998.  No. 362.
We identify and investigate the basic 'hold-up' problem which arises whenever each party to a contract has to pay some ex-ante cost for the contract to become feasible. We then proceed to show that, under plausible circumstances, a `contractual solution' to this hold-up problem is not available. This is because a contractual solution to the hold-up problem typically entails writing a 'contract over a contract' which generates a fresh set of ex-ante costs, and hence is associated with a new hold-up problem. We conclude the paper investigating two applications of our results to a static and to a dynamic principal-agent model.

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