Francine Lafontaine
University of Michigan, USA

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(Monday, 1st April 2002)

Title : The Economics of Franchising

This lecture will review the basic principal-agent model as it has been applied to analyses of linear contracts, and a number of theoretical extensions. The goal will be to highlight empirical predictions from these models, and compare them to results in the empirical literature on franchising.

Bibliographical references :

Francine Lafontaine, Kathryn L. Shaw, "Targeting Managerial Control: Evidence from Franchising" , NBER Working Paper No.w8416, August 2001.

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(Monday, 31st May 2010)

Title : Inter-Firm Contracts: Evidence

In this lecture, we will review much of what is known empirically about the contracting practices that firms rely on to govern their relationships with other firms, in particular the types of relationships that occur within the vertical chain, where one party supplies either an input or a service - often distribution - to the other. We will pay particular attention to the reasons for entering into the observed contractual relationships and the associated costs and benefits and consider both empirical studies of the incidence of contracts --- when different types of contracts and contract terms are chosen --- and empirical analyses of the effects of those choices on outcomes such as profits, prices, sales, and firm survival. We will conclude with a discussion of those aspects of the literature that are in greatest need of new work or new approaches.

Bibliographical references :

Paper to be discussed : Francine Lafontaine and Margaret E. Slade (2010), Inter-Firm Contracts: Evidence (mimeo).

Other references :
Lafontaine, Francine and Margaret E. Slade, “Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence” Journal of Economic Literature, 45: 629-685, 2007.
Lafontaine, Francine and Margaret E. Slade, “Empirical Assessment of Exclusive Contracts,” in Handbook of Antitrust Economics, Paolo Buccirossi (ed.) Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.

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(Monday, 20th May 2019)

Title : Where to from Here? Industrial Organization, Organizational Economics, and Public Policy

Researchers who study the incidence and performance of organizations empirically know well the value of public policy in providing, in some contexts, sources of exogenous variation that can help with identification. This identification strategy fundamentally is predicated on the fact that differences or changes in public policy often have important consequences for organizational form decisions as well as the performance of different forms of organizations. This talk, however, emphasizes the reverse relationship, namely the important role that organizational economics can and should play in informing public policy debates. It does so by highlighting two important competition policy areas where I believe that further research using the lens of organizational economics would be especially valuable in guiding the development, application and enforcement of specific approaches and policies.
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