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Investment and Bargaining in Joint Ventures: A Family Decision-Making Experiment

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Bilateral joint ventures, such as marriage, are economically inspired by their prospects of labor division and specialization. However, specialization makes the partner who invests more in relation-specific qualifications more exploitable (holdup problem). In a two-person experiment we study investment and bargaining behavior when specialization improves the chances to win a large prize. A low (full) joint venture relies on an intermediate (high) degree of specialization and low (high) costs in case of failure, e.g., a divorce. Results show that participants choose endogenously more efficient joint-venture types and accept minor attempts at exploitation when bargaining over the revenues of the joint venture.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2003

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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