An Experimental Comparison of Reliance Levels Under Alternative Breach Remedies
Posted: 30 Jul 2003
Breach remedies serve an important role in protecting relationship-specific investments. Theory predicts that some common remedies protect too well and induce over investment, either though complete insurance against potential separation or the possibility that breach is prevented by increasing the damage payment due through the investment made. In this article we report on an experiment designed to address whether these two motives show up in practice. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that over investment does not occur under liquidated damages. In the case of expectation damages, the full-insurance motive indeed appears to be operative. In the case of reliance damages, both motives are at work, as predicted.
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