IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rut/rutres/200501.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Testing Out Contractual Incompleteness: Evidence from Soccer

Author

Listed:
  • Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau

    (Rutgers University)

  • Diego Comin

    (New York University)

Abstract

The theory of incomplete contracting is rival to that of complete contracting as a frame of reference to understand contractual relationships. Both approaches rest upon diametrically opposed postulates and lead to very different policy conclusions. From a theoretical viewpoint, scrutiny of the postulates has revealed that both frameworks are reasonable. This paper designs and implements an empirical test to discern whether contracts are complete or incomplete. We analyze a problem where the parties' inability to commit not to renegotiate inefficiencies is sufficient for contractual incompleteness. We study optimal contracts with and without commitment and derive an exclusion restriction that is useful to identify the relevant commitment scenario. The empirical analysis takes advantage of a data set from Spanish soccer player contracts. Our test rejects the commitment hypothesis, which entails the acceptance of the existence of contractual incompleteness in the data. We argue that our conclusions should hold a fortiori in many other economic environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau & Diego Comin, 2005. "Testing Out Contractual Incompleteness: Evidence from Soccer," Departmental Working Papers 200501, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200501
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2005-01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Oliver D. Hart & John Moore, 1994. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," NBER Chapters, in: The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 2, Restructuring, pages 215-244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 113(1), pages 1-41.
    5. Keith J. Crocker & Kenneth J. Reynolds, 1993. "The Efficiency of Incomplete Contracts: An Empirical Analysis of Air Force Engine Procurement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 126-146, Spring.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Rachel Griffith & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Vertical Integration and Technology: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 989-1033, September.
    7. Paul Milgrom & Sharon Oster, 1987. "Job Discrimination, Market Forces, and the Invisibility Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 102(3), pages 453-476.
    8. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 257-282, March.
    9. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    10. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    12. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 1994. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 109(4), pages 1085-1124.
    13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1799-1819, November.
    14. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1988. "One share-one vote and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 175-202, January.
    15. Maskin, Eric, 2002. "On indescribable contingencies and incomplete contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 725-733, May.
    16. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    17. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1999. "Foundations of Incomplete Contracts," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 66(1), pages 115-138.
    18. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    19. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000. "Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study of the Indian Software Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 115(3), pages 989-1017.
    20. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
    21. Avinash Dixit, 1979. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 20-32, Spring.
    22. Atif Mian, 2008. "Incentives in Markets, Firms, and Governments," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-306, October.
    23. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    24. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2004. "Contractibility and Asset Ownership: On-Board Computers and Governance in U. S. Trucking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 119(4), pages 1443-1479.
    25. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
    26. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82.
    27. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    28. Hart, Oliver D & Moore, John, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 755-785, July.
    29. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    30. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
    31. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, Decembrie.
    32. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-146, April.
    33. repec:cep:stitep:/1992/250 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1988. "Corporate governance : Voting rights and majority rules," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 203-235, January.
    35. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Eberhard Feess & Michael Gerfin & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2015. "Contracts As Rent‐Seeking Devices: Evidence From German Soccer," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 714-730, January.
    2. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang, 2008. "Why football players may benefit from the ‘shadow of the transfer system’," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 129-151, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Carbonell-Nicolau Oriol & Comin Diego, 2009. "Testing the Commitment Hypothesis in Contractual Settings: Evidence from Soccer," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(4), pages 1-40, October.
    2. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2016. "Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström: Contract Theory," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2016-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    3. Eduard Marinov, 2016. "The 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 97-149.
    4. Nikolaev, Valeri V., 2018. "Scope for renegotiation in private debt contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 270-301.
    5. Ilya Segal & Michael D.Whinston, 2012. "Property Rights [The Handbook of Organizational Economics]," Introductory Chapters,, Princeton University Press.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "On partial contracting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 745-753, May.
    7. Fehr, Ernst & Powell, Michael & Wilkening, Tom, 2021. "Behavioral Constraints on the Design of Subgame-Perfect Implementation Mechanisms," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 111(4), pages 1055-1091.
    8. Lewis A. Kornhauser & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2012. "Contracts between Legal Persons [The Handbook of Organizational Economics]," Introductory Chapters,, Princeton University Press.
    9. Hoppe, Eva I. & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2011. "Can contracts solve the hold-up problem? Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 186-199, September.
    10. Christopher Hansman & Jonas Hjort & Gianmarco León-Ciliotta & Matthieu Teachout, 2020. "Vertical Integration, Supplier Behavior, and Quality Upgrading among Exporters," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(9), pages 3570-3625.
    11. Anderlini, Luca & Felli, Leonardo, 2004. "Bounded rationality and incomplete contracts," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 3-30, March.
    12. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2008. "Competing for Ownership," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1279-1308, December.
    13. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2001. "Partial Privatization and Incomplete Contracts: The Proper Scope of Government Reconsidered," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(4), pages 394-411, August.
    14. Robert Gibbons & John Roberts, 2012. "The Handbook of Organizational Economics," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 9889.
    15. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2009. "Contracting with Third Parties," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 75-100, February.
    16. Patrick Bolton & Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 2010. "Satisficing Contracts," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 77(3), pages 937-971.
    17. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2010. "Contractual solutions to hold-up problems with quality uncertainty and unobservable investments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 807-816, September.
    18. Fares, M’hand, 2005. "Quels fondements à l’incomplétude des contrats?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(3), pages 535-555, Septembre.
    19. Josh Lerner & Ulrike Malmendier, 2010. "Contractibility and the Design of Research Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 214-246, March.
    20. Schmidt, Klaus, 2017. "The 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Contract Theory," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 19, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    commitment; incomplete contracts; optimal contracts; renegotiation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200501. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/derutus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.