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Econometrics of Contracts : an Assessment of Developments in the Empirical Literature on Contracting


  • Scott E. Masten
  • Stéphane Saussier


[fre] Parce qu'elles sont susceptibles d'influer sur les législations contractuelles, les politiques et les pratiques industrielles, il est important que les théories des contrats se basent, autant que possible, sur des travaux empiriques solides. Cet article fait un bilan de ces études en insistant plus particulièrement sur les contributions de la théorie de l'agence et de la théorie des coûts de transaction. Après une brève présentation de ces approches théoriques, nous discutons des propositions testables qu'elles génèrent et des résultats des travaux économétriques sur le sujet. Des deux, la théorie des coûts de transaction est celle qui a eu le plus de succès pour générer des propositions et expliquer les comportements contractuels. [eng] Given their potential to affect contract law, antitrust policy, and business practice, it is important that theories of contracting stand on an empirical footing as solid as possible. This article reviews the empirical literature on contracting with emphasis on the relative contributions of agency and transaction cost theories. After describing their common underlying structure, we discuss the theories' testable implications and the associated econometric evidence. Of the two, transaction cost economics has had more success both generating predictions and explaining contracting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott E. Masten & Stéphane Saussier, 2000. "Econometrics of Contracts : an Assessment of Developments in the Empirical Literature on Contracting," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 215-236.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2000_num_92_1_1048
    DOI: 10.3406/rei.2000.1048
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2000.1048

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