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The Role of Incomplete Contracts in Self-Enforcing Relationships

Listed author(s):
  • Benjamin Klein

[fre] Les contrats incomplets ne peuvent pas être expliqués en se fondant uniquement sur les effets incitatifs directs des termes du contrat. Le rôle joué par ces termes en matière d'auto-exécution de l'accord doit aussi être pris en considération. Afin d'économiser les coûts d'une multiplication des spécifications contractuelles, ces coûts incluant ceux de la trop grande rigidité des contrats explicites, les contractants stipulent des clauses d'incomplètude contractuelle qui leur permettent, après la signature du contrat, d'atteindre des niveaux satisfaisants de performances dans le plus grand nombre d'états du marché possible afin de garantir l'auto-exécution de l'accord. Les clauses d'incomplétudes contractuelles permettent de palier efficacement le caractère limité du capital réputation des parties. [eng] Incomplete contracts cannot be explained by focusing solely on the direct incentive effects of contract terms. The role of contract terms in facilitating self-enforcement must also be considered. Transactors avoid the costs of increased contractual specification, including the rigidity of explicit contracts, by using incomplete contract terms only to get close enough to desired performance so that the business relationship is self-enforcing over the broadest range of likely post-contract market conditions. Incomplete contract terms thereby efficiently complement transactors' limited reputational capital.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 92 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 67-80

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2000_num_92_1_1037
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2000.1037
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