Theoretical framework of optimal contracts (Nobel Prize in Economics 2016 awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström)
Herald of Ternopil National Economic University
The article considers Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström's contributions to the development of contract theory. The contributions are represented by studies on the nature of optimal contract in view of motivation of contract agents and factors that affect their motivation. A particular attention is placed on the practical utility of the research done by Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences 2016 that have fostered further studies on the theory of the firm, corporate finance, management, labour
... gement, labour economics and the public sector, political science and law. The new theoretical tools created by O. Hart and B. Holmström serve for analysis of financial terms of contracts and for the distribution of supervisiory rights, property rights and decision-making rights. It is emphasized that O. Hart and B. Holmström's contributions to the field of contract theory present formal treatment of motivation issues, moral hazard and incomplete contracts. The role of contracts in managing future interactions and ensuring conditions for establishing high-quality institutions is recognized. It is pointed out that the contract theory reveals working mechanisms of institutions, and presents potential hazard that may arise when new contracts are being drafted. Particular attention is paid to positioning of the contract theory within the theory of economic organization and the economic theory of information that is aimed at developing models with asymmetric information and taking into account non-observable actions. Real situations, game models and contract structure with the distinction between complete and incomplete contracts are examined (based on the informativeness principle). The performance of multi-task model and career-growth model in the contract theory is outlined. The paper analyzes the impact of the contract theory on changes in approaches to analyzing corporate relationships, which were previously based on the trade-off theory that includes balancing between the reduction of tax payments and corporate debt servicing.