Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm
| Peter Klein |
A very useful survey article from the Spring 2011 Journal of Economic Perspectives: “Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm: What Have We Learned over the Past 25 Years?” by Philippe Aghion and Richard Holden. From the introduction:
In the first section of this paper, we spell out Grossman and Hart’s argument using a simple numerical example, then then we show how the incomplete contracts approach can be extended beyond the firms’ boundaries issue to analyze firms’ internal organization; firms’ financial decisions; the costs and benefits from privatization; and the organization of international trade between inter- and intrafirm trade. In the second section, we discuss several criticisms of the incomplete contracts/property rights methodology, especially what we call the “implementation criticism,” and then we briefly review some recent developments of the incomplete contracts approach.
I plan to use it in “Economics of Institutions and Organizations” this fall.
Update: Thanks to Stéphane Saussier for the pointer to the upcoming conference, Grossman and Hart at 25, June 24-26 in Brussels.