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9th Annual Workshop on Relational Contracts

The 9th annual Workshop on Relational Contracts Conference combined theoretical, empirical, and real-world perspectives from several disciplines. In addition to papers from economists, the workshop feature comments from lawyers working on relational contracts and contractual governance. Keynotes were be delivered by Ray Reagans from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brian Silverman from the University of Toronto. The workshop also featured a panel that included a leading economist, Bob Gibbons and a leading Chicago practicing lawyer, Brad Peterson.

One objective of this Workshop was to identify interesting yet underappreciated real-world features of relational contracts that will enrich scholars’ understanding of this phenomenon and provide novel insights for theoretical modeling. A second objective was to encourage scholars of relational contracts in different areas and disciplines to collaborate.


Friday, September 8, 2023
8:45 am - 9:25 am
Registration & Breakfast
9:25 am - 9:30 am
Welcome Remarks
Session I: Theory of the Firm

Marta Troya Martinez, New Economic School (Session Chair)

9:30 am - 9:55 am
The Firms as a Nexus of Relational Contracts

Michael Wong, University of Hong Kong (Presenter)

9:55 am - 10:20 am
Employee or Contractor? A Theory of the Labor Boundaries of the Firm

Michael Raith, University of Rochester (Presenter)

10:20 am - 11:00 am

Anthony Casey, University of Chicago (Commentator)
Joel Watson, University of California, San Diego (Commentator)

11:00 am - 11:35 am
11:35 am - 11:45 am
11:45 am - 12:10 pm
Relationships in the Wild: How Institutions Affect the Governance of Firms

Giorgio Zanarone, HEC Lausanne (Presenter)

12:10 pm - 12:20 pm

Dan Barron, Northwestern University (Commentator)

12:20 pm - 12:35 pm
12:35 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Brian Silverman, University of Toronto

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Session II: Empirical Relational Contracts

Adriana Roberston, University of Chicago (Session Chair)

3:00 pm - 3:25 pm
Relational Contracts in Well Functioning Markets: Evidence from China’s Vegetable Markets

Yujing Song, Peking University (Presenter)

3:25 pm - 3:50 pm
Long Term Relations and the Spot Market: Evidence from US Trucking

Thi Mai Nguyen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Presenter)

3:50 pm - 4:30 pm

Nicholas Argyres, Washington University, St. Louis (Commentator)
David Miller, University of Michigan (Commentator)

4:30 pm - 4:55 pm
4:55 pm - 5:05 pm
5:05 pm - 5:30 pm
Contract Enforcement in a Stateless Economy

Sultan Mehmood, New Economic School (Presenter)

5:30 pm - 5:40 pm

Henrik Lando, Copenhagen Business School (Commentator)

5:45 pm - 6:05 pm
6:05 pm
Workshop Adjourns
Conference Dinner

Ascione Bistro (Invited guests only)

1500 E 55th Street Chicago IL 60615

Saturday, September 9, 2023
9:00 am - 9:30 am
Registration & Breakfast
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Roundtable Discussion: Theory, Practice, and the Future of Relational Contracts Scholarship

Robert Gibbons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brad Peterson, Mayer Brown
Lisa Bernstein, University of Chicago (Moderator)

11:30 am - 11:45 am
11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Ray Reagans, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Located in University A

Session III: Political Economy

Giorgio Zanarone, HEC Lausanne (Session Chair)

2:00 pm - 2:35 pm
Which Side are You On? Interest Groups and Relational Contracts

Alvaro Delgado-Vega, ETH Zurich (Presenter)
Eric Brousseau Paris-Dauphine University (Commentator)

2:35 pm - 3:00 pm
3:00 pm - 3:35 pm
An Organizational Theory of Political Parties

Spencer Pantoja, Stanford University (Presenter)
Davin Raiha, University of Notre Dame (Commentator)

3:35 pm - 4:00 pm
4:00 pm - 4:05 pm
4:05 pm - 4:40 pm
Shaping Institutions

William Fuchs, University of Texas at Austin (Presenter)
Scott Gehlbach, University of Chicago (Commentator)

4:40 pm - 5:05 pm
5:05 pm
Workshop Concludes