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Quels fondements à l’incomplétude des contrats?

  • Fares, M’hand

    (Université de Paris 1,)

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    Following the recent controversy on the foundations of incomplete contract theory (Maskin and Tirole, 1999; Hart and Moore, 1999; Tirole, 1999), this survey aims at defining the very nature and origin of the contract incompleteness. Two main results are shown: (i) reasons usually advanced to explain incompleteness, such as the indescribability of future contingencies or the asymmetric information between the contracting parties, are not necessarily relevant; (ii) coupled with the constraint of initial contract renegotiation, the unverifiability constraint, a key notion in incomplete contract theory, allows to derive an endogenous choice of incompleteness. More precisely, incomplete contract theory shows that an incomplete contract can be defined as a limit form of a complete contract. Se situant dans le droit fil de la récente controverse sur les fondements de la théorie des contrats incomplets (Maskin et Tirole, 1999 ; Hart et Moore, 1999 ; Tirole, 1999), cette revue de la littérature cherche à définir la notion d’incomplétude contractuelle et à en comprendre l’origine. Deux résultats importants sont dégagés : (i) les raisons traditionnellement avancées pour expliquer l’incomplétude contractuelle, telles que l’indescriptibilité des contingences futures ou l’asymétrie d’information entre les parties contractantes, ne sont pas forcément pertinentes ; (ii) la contrainte d’invérifiabilité, concept clé de la théorie des contrats incomplets, parvient à rendre compte d’un choix d’incomplétude lorsqu’elle est couplée à la contrainte de renégociation du contrat initial. Cette double contrainte permet à la théorie des contrats incomplets de générer un choix endogène d’incomplétude. Plus précisément, cette théorie montre que l’on peut définir un choix de contrat incomplet comme une forme limite du contrat complet.

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    Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

    Volume (Year): 81 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (Septembre)
    Pages: 535-555

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    Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:81:y:2005:i:3:p:535-555
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