IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ris/actuec/v81y2005i3p535-555.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Quels fondements à l’incomplétude des contrats?

Author

Listed:
  • Fares, M’hand

    (Université de Paris 1,)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fares, M’hand, 2005. "Quels fondements à l’incomplétude des contrats?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(3), pages 535-555, Septembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:81:y:2005:i:3:p:535-555
    as

    Download full text from publisher

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108.
    4. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 1998. "Describability and agency problems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 35-59, January.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    9. P. Battigalli & G. Maggi, 2000. "Imperfect Contracting," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s11, Economics Department, Princeton University.
    10. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 2001. "Costly Bargaining and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 377-411, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    13. M. Dewatripont & E. Maskin, 1995. "Contractual Contingencies and Renegotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 704-719, Winter.
    14. Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 6309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Barton L. Lipman, 1992. "Limited Rationality and Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," Working Papers 858, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    16. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    17. Tai-Yeong Chung, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-1042.
    18. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124.
    19. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    20. Alan Schwartz, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm73, Yale School of Management.
    21. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    22. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1992. "Measurement Distortion and Missing Contingencies in Optimal Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
    23. 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.
    24. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts and Complexity Costs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 23-50, February.
    25. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 2004. "Bounded rationality and incomplete contracts," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 3-30, March.
    26. 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.
    27. Claude Fluet, 2003. "Enforcing Contracts: Should Courts Seek the Truth?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 1-49, March.
    28. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432.
    29. 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 9780199243273.
    30. Mukerji, Sujoy, 1998. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Contractual Form," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1207-1231, December.
    31. Gianni de Fraja, "undated". "After You Sir. Sequential Investment as a Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Discussion Papers 95/23, Department of Economics, University of York.
    32. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    33. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Privatization: An Incomplete Contracts Approach," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-24, April.
    34. 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 827-849, November.
    35. Dieter Boes, 1999. "Privatization and Restructuring: An Incomplete-Contract Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(2), pages 362-362, June.
    36. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    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. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    39. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
    40. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 467-496.
    41. 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.
    42. 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 203-237, January.
    43. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
    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. Maher GORDAH & Thomas LE TEXIER, 2011. "Aide Au Développement Et Information Asymétrique : Une Analyse Principal-Agent," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 34, pages 163-180.

    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: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). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/scseeea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.