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The Role of Residual Claims and Self-Enforcement in Franchise Contracting

  • Francine Lafontaine
  • Emmanuel Raynaud

Much of the economic literature on franchising has been concerned with incentive issues and how these are managed in franchised contracts. Two main types of incentive mechanisms have been identified: residual claims and self enforcement. In this paper we describe these incentive mechanisms, and their use in franchise contracts. We argue that although these two types of mechanisms are usually thought of as alternative ways to align franchisee and franchisor incentives, they are in fact complementary in franchise contracts because they address different incentive problems. We explore what these incentive problems are, and then describe specifically how franchise contract terms and practices support each type of incentive mechanism. Finally, we discuss briefly, via two examples, how our analysis also applies to non-franchised systems with common marks or other reputation concerns.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8868.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8868
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  1. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2005. "Targeting Managerial Control: Evidence from Franchising," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 131-150, Spring.
  2. Lafontaine, Francine & Bhattacharyya, Sugato, 1995. "The role of risk in franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 39-74, October.
  3. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  4. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "Incentives and Risk-Sharing in Sharecropping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 353, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Kaufmann, Patrick J & Lafontaine, Francine, 1994. "Costs of Control: The," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 417-53, October.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  7. Randall E. Westgren, 1999. "Delivering Food Safety, Food Quality, and Sustainable Production Practices: The Label Rouge Poultry System in France," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1107-1111.
  8. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret E. Slade, 1998. "Incentive Contracting and the Franchise Decision," NBER Working Papers 6544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barron, John M & Umbeck, John R, 1984. "The Effects of Different Contractual Arrangements: The Case of Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-28, October.
  10. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
  11. Michael, Steven C. & Moore, Hollie J., 1995. "Returns to franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 133-155, October.
  12. Brickley, James A. & Dark, Frederick H., 1987. "The choice of organizational form The case of franchising," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 401-420, June.
  13. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Klein, Benjamin, 1995. "The economics of franchise contracts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 9-37, October.
  15. Klein, Benjamin & Saft, Lester F, 1985. "The Law and Economics of Franchise Tying Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 345-61, May.
  16. Lutz, Nancy A., 1995. "Ownership rights and incentives in franchising," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(1-2), pages 103-131, October.
  17. Blair, Roger D. & Herndon, Jill Boylston, 1999. "The misapplication of Kodak In franchise tying suits," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 397-415, July.
  18. Klein, Benjamin, 1980. "Transaction Cost Determinants of "Unfair" Contractual Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 356-62, May.
  19. Mathewson, G Frank & Winter, Ralph A, 1985. "The Economics of Franchise Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 503-26, October.
  20. Brickley, James A & Dark, Frederick H & Weisbach, Michael S, 1991. "The Economic Effects of Franchise Termination Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 101-32, April.
  21. Sugato Bhattacharyya & Francine Lafontaine, 1995. "Double-Sided Moral Hazard and the Nature of Share Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 761-781, Winter.
  22. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  23. Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "The Theory of the Firm and the Structure of the Franchise Contract," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 223-33, April.
  24. Lafontaine, Francine & Slade, Margaret E., 1996. "Retail contracting and costly monitoring: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 923-932, April.
  25. Iain Cockburn & Rebecca Henderson & Scott Stern, 1999. "Balancing Incentives: The Tension Between Basic and Applied Research," NBER Working Papers 6882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1985. "A Theory of Contractual Structure in Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 352-67, June.
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