IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jleorg/v15y1999i3p685-703.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Freedom to Contract and the Free-Rider Problem

Author

Listed:
  • Neeman, Zvika

Abstract

We present an economic argument for restraining certain voluntary agreements. We identify a class of situations where single individuals or parties may use the freedom to contract to subtly manipulate large groups of individuals by offering them contracts that promote free-riding behavior. We provide three examples where placing restrictions on the freedom to contract may prove beneficial. The first example provides a rationale for the prohibition of exclusionary contracts. We point to the role most favored nation clauses may play in facilitating such inefficient exclusionary practices. The second example provides justification for prohibiting employers from proposing to compensate workers for committing not to join a labor union. The third example provides a rationale for the ban against vote trading. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Neeman, Zvika, 1999. "The Freedom to Contract and the Free-Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 685-703, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:15:y:1999:i:3:p:685-703
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Klein, Benjamin & Saft, Lester F, 1985. "The Law and Economics of Franchise Tying Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 345-361, May.
    2. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn L. Shaw, 1999. "The Dynamics of Franchise Contracting: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 1041-1080, October.
    3. Rajiv Lal, 1990. "Improving Channel Coordination Through Franchising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(4), pages 299-318.
    4. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-654, June.
    5. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
    6. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    8. Brickley, James A. & Dark, Frederick H., 1987. "The choice of organizational form The case of franchising," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 401-420, June.
    9. Lafontaine, Francine, 1993. "Contractual Arrangements as Signaling Devices: Evidence from Franchising," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 256-289, October.
    10. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Renault, Eric & Trognon, Alain, 1987. "Generalised residuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 5-32.
    11. Norton, Seth W, 1988. "An Empirical Look at Franchising as an Organizational Form," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 197-218, April.
    12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    13. Klein, Benjamin, 1980. "Transaction Cost Determinants of "Unfair" Contractual Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 356-362, May.
    14. Sugato Bhattacharyya & Francine Lafontaine, 1995. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard and the Nature of Share Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 761-781, Winter.
    15. Telser, L G, 1980. "A Theory of Self-enforcing Agreements," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-44, January.
    16. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
    17. Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "The Theory of the Firm and the Structure of the Franchise Contract," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 223-233, April.
    18. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1996. "The Use of Covenants: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Partnership Agreements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 463-498, October.
    19. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
    20. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
    21. Klein, Benjamin & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "Vertical Restraints as Contract Enforcement Mechanisms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 265-297, October.
    22. Brickley, James A & Dark, Frederick H & Weisbach, Michael S, 1991. "The Economic Effects of Franchise Termination Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 101-132, April.
    23. Klein, Benjamin, 1996. "Why Hold-Ups Occur: The Self-Enforcing Range of Contractual Relationships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 444-463, July.
    24. Michael C. Jensen & William H. Heckling, 1995. "Specific And General Knowledge, And Organizational Structure," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 8(2), pages 4-18.
    25. Masten, Scott E & Snyder, Edward A, 1993. "United States versus United Shoe Machinery Corporation: On the Merits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 33-70, April.
    26. Mathewson, G Frank & Winter, Ralph A, 1985. "The Economics of Franchise Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 503-526, October.
    27. Klein, Benjamin, 1995. "The economics of franchise contracts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 9-37, October.
    28. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret E. Slade, 1998. "Incentive Contracting and the Franchise Decision," NBER Working Papers 6544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Lutz, Nancy A., 1995. "Ownership rights and incentives in franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 103-131, October.
    30. Smith, Richard L, II, 1982. "Franchise Regulation: An Economic Analysis of State Restrictions on Automobile Distribution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 125-157, April.
    31. Masten, Scott E & Crocker, Keith J, 1985. "Efficient Adaptation in Long-term Contracts: Take-or-Pay Provisions for Natural Gas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1083-1093, December.
    32. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Andrea Shepard, 1993. "Contractual Form, Retail Price, and Asset Characteristics in Gasoline Retailing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 58-77, Spring.
    34. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-379, June.
    35. Klein, Benjamin & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Vertical Integration as a Self-Enforcing Contractual Arrangement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 415-420, May.
    36. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    37. Marvel, Howard P, 1982. "Exclusive Dealing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, April.
    38. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101.
    39. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ilya Segal, 1998. "Contracting with Externalities," Public Economics 9802002, EconWPA.
    2. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
      • Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
      • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2005. "Vote Buying," Others 0503006, EconWPA.
    3. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2000. "Bribing Voters," Economics Series Working Papers 39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Frank Daumann & Alfred Wassermann, 2009. "Does trading votes in national elections change election outcomes?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 429-441, June.
    5. Elhauge, Einer & Wickelgren, Abraham L., 2015. "Robust exclusion and market division through loyalty discounts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 111-121.
    6. Kaushik Basu, 2007. "Coercion, contract and the limits of the market," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(4), pages 559-579, December.
    7. Neeman, Zvika & Orosel, Gerhard O., 2006. "On the efficiency of vote buying when voters have common interests," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 536-556, December.
    8. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinksy, 2006. "Vote Buying II: Legislatures and Lobbying," Discussion Papers 1433, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinksy, 2006. "Vote Bying I: General Elections," Discussion Papers 1434, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    10. Mike Burkart & Samuel Lee, 2008. "One Share - One Vote: the Theory," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(1), pages 1-49.
    11. Miklós-Thal, Jeanine & Shaffer, Greg, 2017. "Private contracting with externalities: Divide and conquer?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 460-472.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:15:y:1999:i:3:p:685-703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/jleo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.