Session on Contract Governance at 2018 ASSA Annual Meeting

By Robert Gibbons

SIOE will organize a session on Contract Governance at the upcoming ASSA Meetings in Philadelphia, January 5-7.

Time: Sunday, January 7, 10:15 to 12:15

Location: Loews Philadelphia in room PSFS

Broadly speaking, “contract governance” means choices that are made after the contract is signed.  And, in turn, “choices” connotes the exercise of discretion rather than formulaic compliance with the terms of the contract.  In short, this session concerns deals that start when they are signed, not deals that are finished when they are signed.

Speakers and Papers

  • Lisa Bernstein (Chicago), “Beyond Relational Contracts: Social Capital and Network Governance in Procurement Contracts,” Journal of Legal Analysis, 2015.
  • Gillian Hadfield (USC), “Scaffolding: Using Formal Contracts to Support Informal Relations in Support of Innovation,” Wisconsin Law Review, 2016 (with I. Bozovic).
  • Charles Sabel (Columbia), “Braiding: The Interaction of Formal and Informal Contracting in Theory, Practice, and Doctrine,” Columbia Law Review, 2010 (with R. Gilson and R. Scott).


  • Avinash Dixit (Princeton)
  • Robert Gibbons (MIT)

The structure of the session is non-standard.  First, all three papers have already been published—albeit in law journals not familiar to many economists.  Second, each paper will be presented for 20 minutes, after which each discussant will have 12 minutes to comment on themes from all three papers.  Finally, there will be a panel discussion among the five participants for 20 minutes, leading to open discussion for the remainder of the session.

All interested scholars, members and non-members, are warmly invited to attend.