The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

632. R.W. Brooks, Claudia M. Landeo, and Kathryn E. Spier, Trigger Happy or Gun Shy? Dissolving Common-Value Partnerships with Texas Shootouts, 3/2009; forthcoming in the RAND Journal of Economics.


The operating agreements of many business ventures include clauses to facilitate the exit of joint owners. In so-called Texas Shootouts, one owner names a single buy-sell price and the other owner is compelled to either buy or sell shares at that named price. Despite their prevalence in real-world contracts, Texas Shootouts are rarely triggered. In our theoretical framework, sole ownership is more efficient than joint ownership. Negotiations are frustrated, however, by the presence of asymmetric information. In equilibrium, owners eschew buy-sell offers in favor of simple offers to buy or to sell shares and bargaining failures arise. Experimental data support these findings.


632: PDF