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Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law$
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Gregory Klass, George Letsas, and Prince Saprai

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713012.001.0001

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Economic Foundations of Contract Law

Economic Foundations of Contract Law

(p.171) 10 Economic Foundations of Contract Law
Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law

Avery W. Katz

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the role of economic analysis in explaining, justifying, and critiquing the law of contracts and its effects on private exchange. It discusses both positive issues (e.g., what motivates the practices regulated by contract law; what effect does law have on contracting behavior) and normative ones (e.g., is the law properly designed in light of such effects; to what extent should interpretation of legal rules and the design of legal institutions be based on economic as opposed to noneconomic considerations). Finally, it discusses whether an economic approach to contract law can be squared with other paradigms, and to the extent it cannot, how such inconsistency might be dealt with. It concludes by offering a pragmatic assessment of the economic approach to contracts, with primary emphasis on how it might be used by lawyers and legal officials in the performance of their distinctive professional tasks.

Keywords:   contracts, contract law, jurisprudence, law and economics

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