Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Hüseyin Can AksoyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_244


The principle of pacta sund servanda requires that agreements must be kept. However such rule is not absolute. When performance of a contractual obligation becomes impracticable, i.e., considerably more burdensome (expensive) than originally contemplated –albeit physically possible- due to an unexpected event, this would lead to adaptation of the contract to the changed circumstances or to avoidance of the contract. In the law and economics literature, impracticability has been substantially studied to figure out who should bear the risk of impracticability; and what would be the efficient remedy for such breach of contract.

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Further Reading

  1. Christopher B (1982) An economic analysis of the impossibility doctrine. J Legal Stud 11:311–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  5. Smythe DJ (2011) Impossibility and impracticability. In: De Geest G (ed) Contract law and economics, encyclopedia of law and economics, 2nd edn. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham/Northampton, pp 207–224Google Scholar
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  7. Triantis GG (1992) Contractual allocations of unknown risks: a critique of the doctrine of commercial impracticability. Univ Toronto Law J 42:450–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wright AJ (2005) Rendered impracticable: behavioral economics and the impracticability doctrine. Cardozo Law Rev 26:2183–2215Google Scholar

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawBilkent UniversityBilkentTurkey