Contract Theory Workshop 2019

Nobel prize-winning Oliver Hart delivered a keynote lecture to open our two day Contract Theory Workshop.

The workshop brought together international experts in the field, from economists and lawyers to contract practitioners. Over the two days, a variety of new developments in contract theory were explored, as well as the implications of smart contracting.

The Department of Economics and the Law School were delighted to host Oliver Hart, Professor of Economics at Harvard University as well as IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. Professor Hart won the Nobel Prize in 2016 jointly with Bengt Holmström for his work on contract theory.

Professor Hart expressed his enthusiasm prior to the workshop:

“I am excited to attend this conference because it brings together a whole range of people who work on contracts: economic theorists, contract practitioners and academic lawyers. This is an unusual combination and I think it will lead to great cross-fertilization of ideas.”

Professor Hart’s keynote lecture outlined a novel approach, proposing that parties should seek agreement on principles to govern their relationship rather than write complex and detailed contracts. This lecture set the stage for the workshop which hosted vibrant and stimulating discussions over the two days.

Leading academics at the University of Bristol

Dr Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Bristol, managed the event and gathered leading academics to present and participate in the workshop. In addition to academics, Maija also invited international-based practitioners to contribute and engage in discussions with the academics.  Hal Bretan, BT Americas Inc,. and Tim Cummins, IACCM, gave presentations on principles-based contracts which were discussed by David Frydlinger from Cirio law firm..

Dr Halonen-Akatwijuka highlighted the successes of the two days:

“The workshop was inspiring as it brought together diverse speakers at the frontier of contract theory.  I am already looking forward to the next Contract Theory Workshop.”

You can view the programme full programme of the two days here.