Standards and the Form of Agreement
AbstractContract stipulations tend to be subject to commodity standards. Standards make it clearer what transactors have agreed upon. They also bring stipulations from different contracts under a common denominator. The lower the cost of measuring an attribute and the wider the range of its application, the higher the likelihood that the attribute will become subject to new standards. New standards are predicted to increase the role of contracts in agreements and to reduce that of long-term relations; to lower the prices of the commodities that use the standards; to increase the rate of theft of these commodities; and, by making it clearer what it is that parties exchange, to reduce the level of vertical integration. Finally, new standards propel markets toward perfect competition. (JEL D23, L14, L15, L22) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.
Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
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