IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Quels fondements à l’incomplétude des contrats?

  • Fares, M’hand

    (Université de Paris 1,)

Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/013041ar
    Download Restriction: no

    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

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:81:y:2005:i:3:p:535-555
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.scse.ca/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Anderlini Luca & Felli Leonardo & Postlewaite Andrew, 2011. "Should Courts Always Enforce What Contracting Parties Write?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 14-28, February.
    2. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 1777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108, January.
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    6. Claude Fluet, 2002. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-76, CIRANO.
    7. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    8. repec:att:wimass:9714 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Contractual Contingencies and Renegotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 704-719, Winter.
    10. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    11. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-31, December.
    13. Barton L. Lipman, 1992. "Limited Rationality and Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," Working Papers 858, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    14. Michael D. Whinston, 2001. "Assessing the Property Rights and Transaction-Cost Theories of Firm Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 184-188, May.
    15. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "The costs and benefits of privatization: An incomplete contracts approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19773, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    16. Alan Schwartz, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm73, Yale School of Management.
    17. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124, November.
    18. P. Battigalli & G. Maggi, 2000. "Imperfect Contracting," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s11, Economics Department, Princeton University.
    19. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243259, March.
    20. Gianni de Fraja, . "After You Sir. Sequential Investment as a Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Papers 95/23, Department of Economics, University of York.
    21. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Insecure Property Rights And Government Ownership Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 467-496, May.
    22. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
    23. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
    24. Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Corporate Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1999. "Costly Bargaining and Renegotiation," CESifo Working Paper Series 213, CESifo Group Munich.
    26. Dieter Boes, 1999. "Privatization and Restructuring: An Incomplete-Contract Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(2), pages 362-, June.
    27. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2000. "Bounded Rationality and Incomplete Contracts," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 407, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    28. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1998. "Incomplete Contracts and Complexity Costs," MPRA Paper 28483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    29. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1998. "Describability and agency problems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 35-59, January.
    30. Allen, F. & Gale, D., 1990. "Measurement Distortion And Missing Contingencies In Optimal Contracts," Weiss Center Working Papers 26-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
    31. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L. & Rustichini, Aldo, 1998. "Recent developments in modeling unforeseen contingencies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 523-542, May.
    32. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 551-572, June.
    33. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," NBER Working Papers 5744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
    35. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
    36. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
    37. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    38. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
    39. Woodruff, Christopher, 2002. "Non-contractible investments and vertical integration in the Mexican footwear industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1197-1224, October.
    40. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm As A Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory Of The Origins And Growth Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851, August.
    41. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    42. Sloof, Randolph & Sonnemans, Joep & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2004. "Specific investments, holdup, and the outside option principle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1399-1410, December.
    43. Jolls, Christine, 1997. "Contracts as Bilateral Commitments: A New Perspective on Contract Modification," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 203-37, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:81:y:2005:i:3:p:535-555. 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: (Bruce Shearer)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.