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Transaction Cost Economics and Contract Duration : An Empirical Analysis of EDF Coal Contracts


  • Stéphane SAUSSIER

    (ADIS - Université de Paris XI Sceaux, ATOM - Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)


This paper studies duration of inter-firm contracts in a transaction cost perspective. The aim of the paper is to test the proposition that can be derived from a transaction-cost framework. We built a non-truncated database representing the entire contractual relationships of Electricité de France (EDF) with its coal carriers and coal unloaders over the period 1977 -1997. Section I explores factors that can explain the choice of contract duration. Section II describes the relationships between EDF and its suppliers. In section III, we test and confirm most propositions derived from transaction-cost theory that relate contract duration to transaction characteristics. We believe this study to be the first attempt (1) to confirm transaction cost economics propositions using French data and (2) to endogenize asset specificity level at stake in transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane SAUSSIER, 1999. "Transaction Cost Economics and Contract Duration : An Empirical Analysis of EDF Coal Contracts," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1999011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:1999011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goerke, Laszlo, 1998. "Taxes, Strikes and Wages," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 117-132, April.
    2. Michael Wallerstein & Miriam Golden & Peter Lange, "undated". "Unions, Employers Associations, and Wage-Setting Institutions in North and Central Europe, 1950-1992," IPR working papers 96-12, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    3. Wang, Yijiang, 1995. "Firm's information-sharing policy and strike incidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 73-76, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabetta Iossa & Patrick Rey, 2014. "Building Reputation For Contract Renewal: Implications For Performance Dynamics And Contract Duration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 549-574, June.
    2. Eshien Chong & Freddy Huet, 2010. "Partenariats public-privé et investissements de fin de contrat : le cas de l'industrie de l'eau en France," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 76(4), pages 413-448.
    3. Helm, Roland & Kloyer, Martin, 2004. "Controlling contractual exchange risks in R&D interfirm cooperation: an empirical study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1103-1122, October.
    4. Feuerriegel, Stefan & Neumann, Dirk, 2016. "Integration scenarios of Demand Response into electricity markets: Load shifting, financial savings and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 231-240.
    5. Radygin Alexandr & Entov Revold & Apevalova E. & Shvetsov P., 2008. "Market Discipline and Contracts: Theory, Empiric Analysis, Law," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 117P.
    6. Nicolas Mouchnino & Olivier Sautel, 2007. "Coordination productive et enjeux concurrentiels au sein d'une industrie modulaire : l'exemple d'Airbus," Innovations, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 135-153.

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    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities


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