Working paper 04/105 - Abstract

Exclusive Contracts Foster Relationship-Specific Investment (PDF, file 296 KB) (PDF, 296kB)

David de Meza and Mariano Selvaggi

Exclusive contracts prohibit one or both parties from trading with anyone else. Contrary to earlier findings, notably Segal and Whinston (2000), we show that investments that are specific to the contracted parties may be encouraged. Results depend on the nature of the investments and whether the bargaining is cooperative or non-cooperative. The major part of the analysis show that exclusive contracts designed to 'assure' the supply of essential inputs promote investment. Infinite penalties for breach, even if ex post renegotiable, may result in excessive investment, in which case a finite penalty for breach achieves the first-best outcome.

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