The Role of Incomplete Contracts in Self-Enforcing Relationships

THE ECONOMICS OF CONTRACTS: THEORIES AND APPLICATIONS, Eric Brousseau and Jean-Michel Glachant, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2002

Revue d’Economie Industrielle, No. 92, pp. 67-80, 2000

14 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2011

See all articles by Benjamin Klein

Benjamin Klein

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; Compass Lexecon

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

Incomplete contracts cannot be explained by focusing solely on the direct incentive effects of contract terms. The role of contract terms in facilitating self-enforcement must also be considered. Transactors avoid the costs of increased contractual specification, including the rigidity of explicit contracts, by using incomplete contract terms only to get close enough to desired performance so that the business relationship is self-enforcing over the broadest range of likely post-contract market conditions. Incomplete contract terms thereby efficiently complement transactors’ limited reputational capital.

JEL Classification: L14, K12

Suggested Citation

Klein, Benjamin, The Role of Incomplete Contracts in Self-Enforcing Relationships (2000). THE ECONOMICS OF CONTRACTS: THEORIES AND APPLICATIONS, Eric Brousseau and Jean-Michel Glachant, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2002; Revue d’Economie Industrielle, No. 92, pp. 67-80, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1658205

Benjamin Klein (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

1999 Avenue of the Stars
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Los Angeles, CA 90067-4628
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HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/people/Faculty/Klein.html

Compass Lexecon ( email )

1999 Avenue of the Stars
Suite 1150
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4628
United States
310-728-2025 (Phone)
310-728-2070 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.compasslexecon.com/professionals/bio?id=152

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