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Contract Theory (MIT Press)

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262025768
ISBN-10: 0262025760
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.

(Jean Tirole, Institut d'Economie Industrielle, Toulouse)

Contract Theory provides the framework for understanding an enormous variety of economic phenomena, from insurance to the firm. 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.

(Hal Varian, Haas School of Business and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

This much-anticipated book on contract theory by two of the field's pioneers will fill a critical hole in graduate economics teahing. 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. Samuelson Professor of Economics, MIT)

Contract Theory is certainly the most important textbook on the frontiers of microeconomics since Tirole's celebrated Theory of Industrial Organization. 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, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, MIT)

From the Inside Flap

"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

"This is a masterful summary of the last 30 years of economic research on contract theory, written in clear and accessible prose."
--Hal Varian, Haas School of Business and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley

"*Contract Theory* is certainly the most important textbook on the frontiers of microeconomics since Tirole's celebrated *Theory of Industrial Organization*. 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

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 744 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (December 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262025760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262025768
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sameer Mathur on January 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We used selected parts of a preview version of this book at Carnegie Mellon in Fall 2004. This book is the best - better than Salanie's primer, which I am familar with in depth and also better than Laffont's Theory of Incentives, which I am familar with in parts.

The authors do a brilliant job of synthesizing hard to read Econometrica, JET, AER, QJE, articles down to key insights and managable proportions. They present results in a manner a graduate student can have a shot at understanding.

They discuss the expected topics - Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard; Screening, Signaling, Auctions. They do a particularly good job of explaining Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in a dynamic framework.

This is hard material, certainly not trivial reading. You need some prior background in Microeconomic Theory of the level of Mas Collel / Reny and Jehle / Kreps and Game Theory of the level of Osbourne & Rubenstein / Fudenberg & Tirole. You also need to be a self-absorbed academic - ideally an enthusiastic and masochistic graduate student in Economics or closely related discipline. None of these books are of any damned use in the "real" world.
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By Sang Kim on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Despite more than 20 years of research there are not many books out there on contract theory. Laffont & Martimort and Salanie are perhaps the most widely read ones. What distinguishes this book from others is its comprehence coverage of modern contract theory: unlike the others, it allocates sizable portions on multilateral/multiagent/dynamic/incomplete frameworks, which until now only had to be learned by reading journal articles. This book picks out the most important and influential models and present them in depth, while not losing sight of other streams of literature. My only complaint is the book is not exactly user-friendly in some places. I had to spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out some missing steps in derivations. Usually these were resolved in second reading, so it is not a major issue (reminded me of reading quantum mechanics...) The benefit of having a single definitive source of modern contract theory (as opposed to flipping through hundreds of journal articles) is enormous for a student like me who is new to the subject. I suggest reading Salanie along with it. Salanie is more readable and short, and these two complement each other very well.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors arrange every detail of the subject logically and beautifully, great book to read and own.
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