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Determinants of contract completeness: An environmental regulatory application

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  • Kosnik, Lea-Rachel

Abstract

There is a tradeoff that must be addressed any time a contract is written; whether or not to make a contract flexible but incomplete or rigid but comprehensive. This paper investigates the completeness of hydroelectric license contracts over a nearly three decade time span and finds that as environmental concerns increase, so does contract flexibility, ultimately confirming the predictions of transaction cost theory. The paper offers an interesting historical look at the development of the U.S. hydroelectric dam license as it ages over time and responds to growing environmental concerns. It also, in a novel empirical application, combines traditional regression analysis with insights from textual analysis and computational linguistics.

Suggested Citation

  • Kosnik, Lea-Rachel, 2014. "Determinants of contract completeness: An environmental regulatory application," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 198-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:37:y:2014:i:c:p:198-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2013.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Joe Kerkvliet & Jason F. Shogren, 2001. "The Determinants of Coal Contract Duration for the Powder River Basin," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(4), pages 608-608, December.
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    13. Paul L. Joskow, 1990. "The Performance of Long-Term Contracts: Further Evidence from Coal Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 251-274, Summer.
    14. Saussier, Stephane, 2000. "Transaction costs and contractual incompleteness: the case of Electricite de France," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 189-206, June.
    15. Lea Kosnik, 2010. "Balancing Environmental Protection and Energy Production in the Federal Hydropower Licensing Process," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
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    Cited by:

    1. George Hendrikse & Patrick Hippmann & Josef Windsperger, 2015. "Trust, transaction costs and contractual incompleteness in franchising," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 867-888, April.
    2. Lea Kosnik, 2014. "What Have Economists Been Doing for the Last 50 Years? A Text Analysis of Published Academic Research from 1960-2010," Working Papers 1004, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2015.
    3. Kosnik, Lea-Rachel, 2015. "What have economists been doing for the last 50 years? A text analysis of published academic research from 1960-2010," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-38.
    4. Lea Kosnik, 2015. "In Tandem or Out of Sync? Academic Economics Research and Public Policy Measures," Working Papers 1006, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    5. Lea Kosnik, 2016. "JEL Codes: What Do They Mean and Are They Used Consistently?," Working Papers 1011, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    6. Allen Bellas & Lea Kosnik, 2016. "Which Leading Journal Leads? Idea Diffusion in Economics Research Journals," Working Papers 1013, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.

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