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Determinants of Inter-Firm Contractual Relations: A Case of Indian Software Industry

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  • Rathinam, Francis

Abstract

We analyze the impediments to inter-firm contractual relations, existing formal and informal ways of getting around them, especially the role of reputation and trust in mitigating the conflict of interest between the firms. We study it in the context of Indian IT industry. Contract design is specified as a function of reputation (age, repeated contracts and quality certification), asset specificity, complexity and uncertainty. We test the likelihood of observing Time & Material contract, a better propertied contract in the face of uncertainty. Empirical evidence conforms the propositions posited. Reputed firms tend to get highly complicated and uncertain projects. Asset specific investments do not seem to have any implication on contract type and complexity. The results broadly hint that the firms reckon more on creating an understanding through formal quality certifications to solve pre-contractual adverse selection problems and repeated contracting to solve the problems of behavioral uncertainties rather than relying on the court.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3795.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3795

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Keywords: Transaction Cost; Inter-firm Contractual Relations; Reputation and Outsourcing;

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  1. Ashish Arora & Jai Asundi, 1999. "Quality Certification and the Economics of Contract Software Development A Study of the Indian Software Industry," NBER Working Papers 7260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  3. Kirk Monteverde & David J. Teece, 1982. "Supplier Switching Costs and Vertical Integration in the Automobile Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 206-213, Spring.
  4. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
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