This long-awaited book fills the need for a comprehensive textbook on contract theory suitable for use at the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels. It covers the areas of agency theory, information economics, and organization theory, highlighting common themes and methodologies and presenting the main ideas in an accessible way. It also presents many applications in all areas of economics, especially labor economics, industrial organization, and corporate finance. The book emphasizes applications rather than general theorems while providing self-contained, intuitive treatment of the simple models analyzed.
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Endorsements An extremely impressive synthesis of the ideas that make up modern contract theory. It will undoubtedly be the definitive text on the topic for many years to come. Oliver Hart Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics, Harvard University Written by two pioneers in organizational economics and finance, this remarkable textbook is comprehensive yet accesible. For many years to come it will be a standard reference for students and researchers, from those advancing our empirical and theoretical knowledge in the field to scholars working in macroeconomics, industrial economics, economics and psychology, and other fields in which contract theory has become an important tool.
Bolton and Dewatripont have long been leading architects of the theory and its application. What is remarkable about their text is how beautifully simple they make it all seem. Eric S. Maskin A. O Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study This is a masterful summary of the last 30 years of economic research on contract theory, written in clear and accessible prose.
The authors have put much thought into synthesizing established ideas in a way that brings the research frontier up close. Comprehensive and rigorous, yet accesible, the book is bound to become the standard text in intermediate and advanced graduate courses on contract theory.
Bengt Holmstrom Paul A. Bolton and Dewatripont have done a marvelous job of providing an exhaustive account of the field, using only very simple and self-contained models and relying on a whole battery of economic applications. All this contributes to making the book not only the unavoidable teaching and research reference on contract theory, but also a unique tribute to economics at its best.
Philippe Aghion Department of Economics, Harvard University This is as edifying a course on contract theory as a primer could ever hope to be—the little book that could. Bengt Holmstrom.