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Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure

Oliver Hart


This book provides a framework for thinking about economic relationships and institutions such as firms. The basic argument is that in a world of incomplete contracts, institutional arrangements are designed to allocate power among agents. The first part of the book is concerned with the boundaries of the firm. It is argued that traditional approaches such as the neoclassical, principal‐agent, and transaction costs theories cannot by themselves explain firm boundaries. The book describes a theory—the incomplete contracting or property rights approach—based on the idea that power and control ma ... More

Keywords: bankruptcy, control allocation, corporate governance, debt, firm boundaries, incomplete contracts, ownership structure, property rights, renegotiation, takeovers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1995 Print ISBN-13: 9780198288817
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198288816.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Oliver Hart, author
Harvard University
Author Webpage