Fourth Workshop on Relational Contracts at University of Chicago

By Giorgio Zanarone

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am happy to announce another workshop that strongly relates to our society's topics. On September 14-15, 2018, the Becker-Friedman Institute and the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Chicago will host the Fourth Workshop on Relational Contracts. Lisa Bernstein will be the local organizer. This year's conference will combine theoretical, empirical, and real world perspectives from several disciplines. In addition to papers from economists, we will feature work by lawyers on relational contracts and contract governance as well as work from those writing in the area of contracts and social networks. One objective is to identify interesting features of relational contracts in the real world to enrich our understanding of these environments and provide important features of these environments and contracts to model. A second objective is to enable authors from different areas to find collaborators. As participants will learn, the view of relational contracts put forth by Stewart Macaulay, the starting point for much economic work in this area, is outmoded. Many of today's relational contracts are long and detailed and have mechanisms built into them to deal with aspects of relationships important to game theoretic and principle agent treatments.

We invite submissions of empirical or theoretical papers to present at the conference. If you are interested in presenting, please email a draft or an extended abstract to this email address ( by April 10th, 2018. The program will be announced in May, and papers will be due to discussants by August 1st. If you would not like to present but would like to attend the workshop, please let us know at this email address (ideally by June 1st) so that we can have an accurate headcount. You can see the webpage of this workshop and of the whole relational contracting workshop series here.

Hope to see you all there!


Giorgio Zanarone