Incomplete Contracting Theory and EU Treaty Provisions: An Empirical Approach

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates interpretational ambiguity with reference to the ECC Treaty, and analyses its consequences. Theoretically, it suggests that incomplete contracts generate interpretational ambiguity, due to transaction costs but also to the inherent variability of language. Methodologically, the paper utilises an automated text analysis approach to measure the ambiguity of Treaty provisions on a number of indicators. Empirically, the analysis demonstrates a significant association between the indicators of article ambiguity and the number of laws and court rulings. It thus provides support for studies arguing that supranational actors including the Commission and Court of Justice will utilize ambiguity to further their institutional and political agendas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event23rd International Conference of Europeanists. CES 2016: Resilient Europe? - DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City, Philadelphia, PA, United States
    Duration: 14 Apr 201616 Apr 2016
    Conference number: 23
    http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/conferences/past-conferences/11-meetings-and-conferences/222-23rd-international-conference-of-europeanists

    Conference

    Conference23rd International Conference of Europeanists. CES 2016
    Number23
    LocationDoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City
    CountryUnited States
    CityPhiladelphia, PA
    Period14/04/201616/04/2016
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