Contract Theory


DEFINITION of 'Contract Theory'

The study of how individuals and businesses construct and develop legal agreements. Contract theory analyzes how parties to a contract make decisions under uncertain conditions, and when there is asymmetric information. It draws upon principles of financial and economic behavior, as principles and agents often have different incentives to perform or not perform actions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Contract Theory'

Contract theory is closely related to game theory, which looks at the decision-making process followed by individuals and businesses. Contracts can be incentivized in order to promote certain outcomes, but can also contain a level of moral hazard stemming from the distance between the principle and agent.

  1. Game Theory

    A model of optimality taking into consideration not only benefits ...
  2. Insider Information

    A non-public fact regarding the plans or condition of a publicly ...
  3. Moral Hazard

    The risk that a party to a transaction has not entered into the ...
  4. Disclosure

    The act of releasing all relevant information pertaining to a ...
  5. Collusion

    A non-competitive agreement between rivals that attempts to disrupt ...
  6. Transparency

    The extent to which investors have ready access to any required ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    When The Federal Reserve Intervenes (And Why)

    The Federal Reserve doesn't interfere with the economy every time it flounders. Find out more here.
  2. Options & Futures

    Game Theory: Beyond The Basics

    Take your game theory knowledge to the next level by learning about simultaneous games and the Nash Equilibrium.
  3. Options & Futures

    Moral Hazards: A Bump In The Contract Road

    Learn how this phenomenon can cause a party in an agreement to behave differently than expected.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    The Basics Of Game Theory

    Break down and examine the potential consequences of economic/financial scenarios.
  5. Investing Basics

    5 Tips For Diversifying Your Portfolio

    A diversified portfolio will protect you in a tough market. Get some solid tips here!
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Identifying And Managing Business Risks

    There are a lot of risks associated with running a business, but there are an equal number of ways to prepare for and manage them.
  7. Forex Education

    Explaining Uncovered Interest Rate Parity

    Uncovered interest rate parity is when the difference in interest rates between two nations is equal to the expected change in exchange rates.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Decision Trees In Finance

    A decision tree provides a comprehensive framework to review the alternative scenarios and consequences a decision may lead to.
  9. Economics

    Understanding Tragedy of the Commons

    The tragedy of the commons describes an economic problem in which individuals try to reap the greatest benefits from a given resource.
  10. Investing

    What’s the Difference Between Duration & Maturity?

    We look at the meaning of two terms that often get confused, duration and maturity, to set the record straight.
  1. How do you make working capital adjustments in transfer pricing?

    Transfer pricing refers to prices that a multinational company or group charges a second party operating in a different tax ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some examples of Apple and Google's best-selling product lines?

    There are many good examples of product lines in the technology sector from some of the largest companies in the world, such ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a negative write-off?

    A negative write-off is a write-off conducted by a company or accountant after deciding not to pay back an individual or ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  2. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  3. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  4. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  5. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
  6. Discount Bond

    A bond that is issued for less than its par (or face) value, or a bond currently trading for less than its par value in the ...
Trading Center