Opportunism, Hold-Up and the (Contractual) Theory of the Firm
This paper considers the role of opportunism in three contractual theories of the firm: rent-seeking theory, property rights theory, and agency theory. In each case I examine whether it is possible to have a functioning contractual theory of the firm without recourse to opportunism. Without opportunism firms may still exist as a result of issues arising from (incomplete) contracting. Far from posing a problem for the theory of the firm, questioning the role of opportunism and the ubiquity of the hold-up problem helps us understand more about the purpose and functions of contracts which go beyond mere incentive alignment.
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Volume (Year): 166 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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