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On the Duration of Agreements

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  • Harris, Milton
  • Holmstrom, Bengt

Abstract

A model of optimal contracts between two infinitely-lived parties, a borrower and lender, is presented and analyzed. The objective is to explain the phenomenon of finite-length, multi-period contracts. It is shown how costly information acquisition can account for multi- period contracts which are of bounded length. Comparative-statics results on how contract length responds to exogenous parameters, such as the cost of information acquisition, are also derived. Copyright 1987 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 28 (1987)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 389-406

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:28:y:1987:i:2:p:389-406

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Cited by:
  1. Danziger, Leif, 2008. "Extension of labor contracts and optimal backpay," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 18-36, February.
  2. Kennan, John, 1995. "Repeated contract negotiations with private information," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 447-472, November.
  3. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima, 2005. "The determinants for labour contract length A French micro-econometric study," Working Papers 0503, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  4. Leif Danziger, 2010. "Uniform and Nonuniform Staggering of Wage Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3112, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Colombo, Ferdinando & Merzoni, Guido, 2006. "In praise of rigidity: The bright side of long-term contracts in repeated trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 349-373, March.
  6. Barcena-Ruiz, Juan Carlos & Campo, Maria Luz, 2000. "Short-term or long-term labor contracts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 249-260, May.
  7. Kanago, Bryce, 1998. "The Relation between Contract Duration and Inflation Uncertainty: Further Evidence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 811-819, October.
  8. Cain, Matthew D. & Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K., 2011. "Earnouts: A study of financial contracting in acquisition agreements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 151-170, February.
  9. Danziger, Leif & Neuman, Shoshana, 2003. "Delays in Renewal of Labor Contracts: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 709, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Sergei Guriev & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2005. "Contracting on Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1369-1385, December.
  11. Broz, J. Lawrence & Grossman, Richard S., 2004. "Paying for privilege: the political economy of Bank of England charters, 1694-1844," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 48-72, January.
  12. López-Bayón, Susana & González-Díaz, Manuel, 2010. "Indefinite contract duration: Evidence from electronics subcontracting," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 145-159, June.
  13. Matthew Ellman, 2006. "The optimal length of contracts with application to outsourcing," Economics Working Papers 965, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Ferdinando Colombo & Guido Merzoni, 2008. "For how long to tie your hands? Stable relationships in an unstable environment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 93-120, November.
  15. Danziger, Leif, 1995. "Discrete shocks and fixed duration of labor contracts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 359-379, December.
  16. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2011. "Early contract renegotiation: An analysis of U.S. labor contracts from 1970 to 1995," Staff Reports 521, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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