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Incomplete Contracts and Economic Organization Brian Loasby and the Theory of the Firm

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  • Nicolai J. Foss

Abstract

The paper begins by providing a brief overview and discussion of the modern economics of organization, concentrating in particular on the work of incomplete contract theorists. I then turn to a discussion of Loasby’s view of the firm and incomplete contracts. The point here is that while Loasby begins from the same recognition as modern incomplete theorists, that contractual incompleteness is a necessary component of a theory of the firm, the causes and consequences of contractual incompleteness are widely different. Thus, Loasby sees incompleteness as a distinct virtue because it allows for organizational learning, whereas incompleteness in the modern economics of organization is seen as a distinct problem because it opens the door to incentive conflicts. I end by speculating on how Loasby’s non-mainstream ideas on economic organization may be related to some relatively mainstream ideas about alternative gameforms and real options.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Economic Organization Brian Loasby and the Theory of the Firm," DRUID Working Papers 97-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:97-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dieter Ernst, 1999. "Responses to the Crisis Constraints to a Rapid Trade Adjustment in East Asia´s Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 99-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    2. Arshad Ali Javed & Patrick T.I. Lam & Albert P.C. Chan, 2014. "Change negotiation in public-private partnership projects through output specifications: an experimental approach based on game theory," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 323-348, April.
    3. Keld Laursen, 1998. "Do Export and Technological Specialisation Patterns Co-evolve in Terms of Convergence or Divergence? Evidence From 19 OECD Countries, 1971-1991," DRUID Working Papers 98-18, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Jukka Kaisla, 1998. "The Market Process and the Emergence of the Firm Some Indications of Entrepreneurship Under Genuine uncertainty," DRUID Working Papers 98-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Bengt-Åke Lundvall & Frank Skov Kristensen, 1997. "Organisational Change, Innovation and Human Resource Development as a Response to Increased Competition," DRUID Working Papers 97-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "Organizing Economic Experiments The Role of Firms," DRUID Working Papers 99-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incompleteness; economic organisation incentives; Theory of the firm.;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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