NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Contracts between Legal Persons

Lewis A. Kornhauser, W. Bentley MacLeod

NBER Working Paper No. 16049
Issued in June 2010
NBER Program(s):   LE

Contract law and the economics of contract have, for the most part, developed independently of each other. In this essay, we briefly review the notion of a contract from the perspective of lawyer, and then use this framework to organize the economics literature on contract. The review thus provides an overview of the literature for economists who are interested in exploring the economic implications of contract law. The title, Contracts between Legal Persons, limits the review to that part of contract law that is generic to any legal person. A legal person is any individual, firm or government agency with the right to enter into binding agreements. Our goal is to discuss the role of the law in enforcing these agreements under the hypothesis that the legal persons have well defined goals and objectives.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16049

Published: “Contracts between Legal Persons,” with Lewis Kornhauser, in The Hand- book of Organizational Economics , Robert Gibbons and John Roberts, editors, December 2012, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

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