A Theory of Contract
Routledge – 2004 – 220 pages
Now, for the first time, there is a comprehensive, eminently readable book designed to focus thinking in the area of contract law. This book bridges the gap between law and economics by confronting normative values that economists too often deem the preserve of moral philosophers. Contract theorists, on the other hand, are seldom in sympathy with economic efficiency norms. While free bargaining continues to be regarded with suspicion by legal scholars who are hostile to private ordering, the proper scope of free bargaining remains in dispute. Combined with a recent renewed interest in this field, these academic tensions mean that the time is right for a reconsideration of contract law.
Drawing on scholarship from diverse fields and using illuminating and erudite examples, Just Exchange is entertaining as well as informative. Of interest to economists, lawyers, public policy-makers and those intersted in contract theory, this volume is a valuable overview of a vital intersection between legal studies and economics.
Part 1: The Enforcement of Contracts 1. The Promising Game 2. Rival Theories of Contract Law 3. The Economic Theory of Contract Law 4. Fidelity to Promising Part 2: The Limits of Bargaining Freedom 5. Soft Paternalism 6. Private Perfectionism 7. Social Perfectionism 8. Substantive Fairness 9. Contractarian Virtue
F. H. Buckley is Foundation Professor at the Law and Economics Center of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.