Project title Holdout Problem in Collective Sales
Duration  10 weeks

Collective sale is a problem where a buyer must assemble multiple inputs that are perfectly complementary in order to produce output where failure to obtain one of these inputs prevents production. For example, a railroad may have to get permission from each of a number of farmers to undertake a profitable project, or a developer must have the approval of every unit owner in a strata.

Breakdown of negotiations is a common problem in collective sales – holdout problem. The existing models of collective sales require unanimous agreement in order to sell a common property such as strata. However, several governments in Australia as well as in different countries outside of Australia recently initiated a policy which allows the sale if a certain proportion of the property owners agree on the sale. The aim of this project is to understand the effect of this new policy on holdout problems in collective sales.

Expected outcomes & deliverables

The students will gain skills in do a critical literature review and data collection. Moreover, at the end of this project, the students will also have a clear understanding of modelling collective sales, and exercise rigorous techniques in game theory and microeconomics. These will be useful to develop policy analysis and offer the students the possibility to develop a research agenda.

Students will be asked to produce weekly reports, and a final document at the end of the project. Students will be asked to review literature, work with basic examples, collect data and read proofs when necessary.

Student qualities

The project is open to applications from students with a background in economics, law and applied mathematics. Students who have taken game theory and intermediate (advanced) microeconomics courses will be given priority. Students with abilities to program in Python, R or Matlab or a similar language, will be given priority.

Primary supervisor

Dr Metin Uyanik

Further information Candidates interests in applying to the project can write to if they have specific inquiries about the project.