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The fourth Workshop on Relational Contracts will be hosted by the Becker Friedman Institute and the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Chicago.
This Workshop on Relational Contracts is part of an ongoing and rotating annual series that brings together empirical, theoretical, and practical researchers of relationships within and between organizations. As many scholars across a wide variety of disciplines have emphasized, firms motivate their suppliers, employees, and partners not solely with the threat of legal sanctions, but also with the promise that their efforts today will be rewarded or punished within their relationship. These so-called “relational contracts” are essential in a wide variety of settings, from supply chains, to performance bonuses and other employment practices, to business associations and other long-term business relationships. This workshop will bring together legal experts, economists, and  social scientists to discuss new research in relational contracts.
To learn more about past workshops, visit: https://relationalcontracts.net/.


Friday, September 14, 2018
9:30 am - 12:20 pm
I. Networks and Relational Contracts: Promise and Limits

1. 9:30-10:20: David Miller (University of Michigan, Dept. of Economics)

Seeking Relationship Support: Strategic Network Formation and Robust Cooperation (with Xu Tan)

Commentator: Douglas Baird (University of Chicago, Law School)

2. 10:20-11:10: Matt Jennejohn (Brigham Young University, Law School)

Disrupting Relational Contracts

Commentator: Daniel Hemel (University of Chicago, Law School)


Coffee Break (11:10-11:30)


3. 11:30-12:20: Emily Kadens (Northwestern University, Law School)

Cheating Pays

Commentator: John Padgett (University of Chicago, Dept. of Political Science)

12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
1:20 pm - 3:50 pm
II. Roundtable on Institutions and Relational Contracts

1. 1:20-2:10: John Wallis (University of Maryland, Dept. of Economics)

Impersonal Rules and Relational Contracts

2. 2:10-3:00: Jens Prüfer (Tilburg University, Dept. of Economics)

Clash of Classification Institutions (with Gillian Hadfield and Vatsalya Srivastava)

3. 3:00-3:50: Benito Arruñada (Pompeu Fabra University)

Property Rights in Sequential Exchange

Plenary discussion led by: Lisa Bernstein, Mark Ramseyer, and Barry Weingast


Coffee Break (3:50-4:10)

4:10 pm - 5:50 pm
III. Debt and Relational Contracts

1. 4:10-5:00: Dan Barron (Kellogg School of Management)

Productivity and Debt in Relational Contracts (with Jin Li, and Michal Zator)

Commentator: Joel Watson (University of California San Diego, Dept. of Economics)

2. 5:00-5:50: William Fuchs (McCombs School of Business; Universidad Carlos III Madrid)

Self-Enforcing Contracts with Persistent Shocks (with Martin Dumav and Jangwoo Lee)

Commentator: Bruce Markell (Northwestern Law)

Dinner at “Petite Folie” restaurant
Saturday, September 15, 2018
9:30 am - 12:20 pm
I. Relational Contracts in the Value Chain of Production

1. 9:30-10:20: Giorgio Zanarone (CUNEF)

The Role of Relational Contracts in Inter-Firm Relationships: Theory and Evidence on Multiunit Franchising (with Nicholas Argyres and Janet Bercovitz)

Commentator: Alan Schwartz (Yale Law School)

2. 10:20-11:10: Sue Helper (Case Western, Dept. of Economics)

Value Migration and Industry 4.0: Theory, Field Evidence, and Propositions (with Raphael Martens and Robert Seamans)

Commentator: Charles Sabel (Columbia Law School)


Coffee break (11:10-11:30)


3. 11:30-12:20: Desmond Lo (Santa Clara University, Leavy School of Business)

Effort and Compensation in Relational Contracts (with Heikki Rantakari)

Commentator: Sue Helper (Case Western, Dept. of Economics)

12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
1:20 pm - 2:10 pm
II. Foundations of Relational Contracts: Towards Micro Modeling of Macro Phenomanae

1. 1:20-2:10: James Malcomson (Oxford University)

Uncertainty, Investment and Productivity with Relational Contracts

Commentator: Bentley MacLeod (Columbia University, Dept. of Economics)

2:10 pm - 3:50 pm
III. Relational Contracts in Action: Leases and Investment Bankers

1. 2:10-3:00: Meirav Furth (Harvard Law School)

The Adverse Effects of Unenforceable Contract Terms: Experimental Evidence

Commentator: Ameet Morjaria (Kellogg School of Management)

2. 3:00-3:50: Bill Wilhelm (University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce)

Investment Bankers and Relational Contracts (with Alan Morrison)

Commentator: Avery Katz (Columbia Law School)


Coffee break (3:50-4:10)

4:10 pm - 5:00 pm
Keynote Lecture

Bob Gibbons (MIT)

The Governance of Unsolved Political Problems


The conference will conclude with an informal dinner.