Steven Shavell's Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law PDF

By Steven Shavell

ISBN-10: 0674011554

ISBN-13: 9780674011557

The most effective works ever written in monetary research of legislations. essential for any attorney!

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The foregoing idea of contract enforcement as a cure for holdup-related underinvestment was initially stressed in the economics literature by Klein, Crawford and Alchian (1978), Grout (1984), and Williamson (1975). However, the general notion that contract enforcement is privately and socially desirable because it fosters production and trade is made (usually with little articulation) by most writers on contract law and, one supposes, has always been appreciated. See, for example, Farnsworth (1982, pp.

2). To illustrate, consider a buyer who wants a custom desk that would be worth $1000 to him and would cost $700 for a seller to produce. In the absence of contract enforcement, the buyer will not pay the seller in advance (for the seller could walk away with what he receives). The buyer will pay the seller only after the seller makes the desk. But at that point, the seller's production cost is sunk and he is vulnerable to holdup; the situation is that he has a desk that, being custom-made, has little or no alternative value 79 .

Hence, it may be in offerors' and society's interests for offered terms to be enforced for some period of time. Yet offerors' circumstances may change, making it privately and socially advantageous for them to alter contract terms. On this and other issues concerning offer and acceptance, see Craswell (1996) and Katz (1990b, 1993). Disclosure. The law may impose an obligation to disclose private information at the time of contract formation 76 . Such a legal duty is beneficial in the respect that disclosed information may be desirably employed by the buyer; suppose, for instance, that he learns from the seller that the basement of his new house leaks and thus decides not to store valuables there.

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Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law by Steven Shavell


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