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Contract Duration: Evidence from Franchising

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  • Brickley, James A
  • Misra, Sanjog
  • Van Horn, R Lawrence

Abstract

Economists generally view standard franchise contracts as efficient, while franchisee advocates view them as exploitive. Consistent with the economic view, we find that contract duration is positively and significantly related to the franchisee's physical and human capital investments (which are often firm specific). In contrast to assertions by franchisee advocates, we find that these relations exist in subsamples containing only the most established franchisors (as measured by size and experience) and that larger, more experienced franchisors tend to offer longer-term contracts than do newer franchisors. Our evidence also suggests that there is learning across firms about optimal contract terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Brickley, James A & Misra, Sanjog & Van Horn, R Lawrence, 2006. "Contract Duration: Evidence from Franchising," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 173-196, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:1:p:173-96
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/501081
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cain, Matthew D. & Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K., 2011. "Earnouts: A study of financial contracting in acquisition agreements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 151-170, February.
    2. Albert Jolink & Eva Niesten, 2012. "Hybrid Governance," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2013. "Urban density, law and the duration of real estate leases," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 99-112.
    4. Hsuan-Yu Lin & Chih-Hai Yang, 2016. "Uncertainty, specific investment, and contract duration: evidence from the MLB player market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1009-1028, May.
    5. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2009. "Incentives to Invest in Short-term vs. Long-term Contracts: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IDEI Working Papers 590, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Dec 2009.
    6. Cain, Matthew D. & Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K., 2011. "Earnouts: A study of financial contracting in acquisition agreements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 151-170.
    7. Qiu, Larry D. & Wang, Susheng, 2011. "BOT projects: Incentives and efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 127-138, January.
    8. Alicia García-Herrera & Rafael Llorca-Vivero, 2010. "How time influences franchise contracts: the Spanish case," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 1-16, August.
    9. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Oliver Hart, 2015. "Short-term, Long-term, and Continuing Contracts," NBER Working Papers 21005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. López-Bayón, Susana & González-Díaz, Manuel, 2010. "Indefinite contract duration: Evidence from electronics subcontracting," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 145-159, June.
    11. Emmanuel Raynaud, 2010. "The Structure of Franchise Contracts," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics, chapter 20 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Awudu Abdulai & Renan Goetz, 2014. "Time-Related Characteristics of Tenancy Contracts and Investment in Soil Conservation Practices," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(1), pages 87-109, September.
    13. Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka & Oliver Hart, 2015. "Continuing Contracts," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/665, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 12 Oct 2016.

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