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Rigidity of Public Contracts

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Listed:
  • Marian Moszoro
  • Pablo T. Spiller
  • Sebastian Stolorz

Abstract

We apply algorithmic data reading and textual analysis to compare the features of contracts in regulated industries subject to public scrutiny (which we call "public contracts") with relational private contracts. We show that public contracts are lengthier and have more rule-based rigid clauses; in addition, their renegotiation is formalized in amendments. We also find that contract length and the frequency of rigidity clauses increases in political contestability and closer to upcoming elections. We maintain that the higher rigidity of public contracts is a political risk adaptation strategy carried out by public agents attempting to lower third-party opportunistic challenges.

Suggested Citation

  • Marian Moszoro & Pablo T. Spiller & Sebastian Stolorz, 2015. "Rigidity of Public Contracts," NBER Working Papers 21186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21186
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    2. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
    3. Pablo T. Spiller, 2009. "An Institutional Theory of Public Contracts: Regulatory Implications," Chapters,in: Regulation, Deregulation, Reregulation, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    5. Marian W. Moszoro & Pablo T. Spiller, 2012. "Third-Party Opportunism and the Nature of Public Contracts," NBER Working Papers 18636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Joskow, Paul L, 1985. "Vertical Integration and Long-term Contracts: The Case of Coal-burning Electric Generating Plants," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 33-80, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:epolin:v:45:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40812-017-0087-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Abhay Aneja & Marian Moszoro & Pablo T. Spiller, 2015. "Political Bonds: Political Hazards and the Choice of Municipal Financial Instruments," NBER Working Papers 21188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law

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