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Les fondements incomplets de l’incomplétude : Une revue critique de la théorie des contrats incomplets

  • Chaserant, Camille

    (EconomiX – UMR CNRS 7166, Université du Havre)

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    The incomplete contract theory sets all the models analyzing the causes and the consequences of contractual incompleteness resting on the standard rationality assumption. An incomplete contract is defined as a contract that does not specify all the relevant contingencies. Inverifiability, i.e. asymmetrical information between parties and courts because of the existence of contractualisation costs, explains incompleteness. This paper presents the main models and arguments of the incomplete contract theory from a critical perspective. I argue that this approach focuses on ideas of renegotiation and incompleteness that are very specific and may be misleading. La théorie des contrats incomplets regroupe l’ensemble des travaux qui modélisent les causes et les conséquences de l’incomplétude contractuelle à partir de l’hypothèse d’une rationalité standard. Elle définit un contrat incomplet comme un contrat ne mentionnant pas certaines contingences susceptibles de se produire durant une transaction. Cette incomplétude s’explique par l’invérifiabilité de ces contingences par un tiers, c.-à-d. par l’existence d’une asymétrie d’information entre les contractants et le tribunal chargé de l’exécution du contrat, due à l’existence de coûts de contractualisation. Si les parties doivent investir en actifs spécifiques, se pose alors le problème du hold up. Cet article présente les principaux modèles et débats qui animent la théorie des contrats incomplets dans une perspective critique. Il semble en effet que les concepts de renégociation et d’incomplétude modélisés par cette approche sont très particuliers et portent à confusion.

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

    Volume (Year): 83 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (juin)
    Pages: 227-253

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    Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:83:y:2007:i:2:p:227-253
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