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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 1 reviews the evolution of the law and economics of contract over the last 4 decades, beginning with the emergence of the idea of “efficient breach” in the early 1970s. It explores expectation damages, reliance damages, and specific performance, and then goes on to examine the effect that the possibility of renegotiation has on the shape of contract law. It then turns to the idea of contract law as a set of default rules, and discusses the role of contract law in mass markets. It concludes with a discussion of the relationship between the law and economics of contract and the problem of contract design and contract theory.

Keywords: efficient breach, expectation damages, reliance damages, default rules, renegotiation

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