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The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics

Philippe Aghion, Mathias Dewatripont, Patrick Legros, and Luigi Zingales


The 1986 article by Grossman and Hart, “A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration,” has provided a framework for understanding how firm boundaries are defined and how they affect economic performance. The property rights approach has provided a formal way to introduce incomplete contracting ideas into economic modelling. This book collects papers and opinion pieces on the impact that this property right approach to the firm has had on the economics profession. It shows that the impact has been felt sometimes in significant ways in a variety of fields, ranging from the theory of the firm and ... More

Keywords: property rights, incomplete contracting, finance, industrial organization, international trade, political economy, behavioural economics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199826223
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199826223.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philippe Aghion, editor
Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Mathias Dewatripont, editor
Director, Banque Nationale de Belgique

Patrick Legros, editor
Full Professor of Economics, Universiti Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES)

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Front Matter

Part 1 Perspectives on Grossman and Hart (1986)

5 GH and Applied Theory

Thomas Hubbard

Part 2 Incomplete Contracts and Firm Boundaries

Part 3 Incomplete Contracts and Internal Organization

9 Incomplete Contracts and the Internal Organization of Firms

Phillipe Aghion, Nicholas Bloom, and John Van Reenen

Part 4 Incomplete Contracts and Corporate Finance

Part 5 Incomplete Contracts and Business Firms

Part 6 Incomplete Contracts and Industrial Organization

Part 7 Incomplete Contracts and International Trade

Part 8 Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership

Part 9 Incomplete Contracts and Political Economy

Part 10 Incomplete Contracts, Mechanism Design, and Complexity

33 Complexity and Undescribability

Nabil I. Al-Najjar Luca Anderlini Leonardo Felli

Part 11 Incomplete Contracts, Reference Points, and Communication

End Matter