Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Limits of Contracts

  • Ann-Sophie VandenbergheEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_540



Limits of contracts refer to a number of exceptions in contract law to the rule that courts should fully enforce voluntary agreements between capable parties.


Economic analysis and the rational actor model have dominated contract scholarship for at least a generation. More recently, a group of behaviorists has challenged the ability of the rational choice model to account for contracting behavior. Numerous tests done by psychologists and experimental economics have shown that people often do not exhibit the kinds of reasoning ascribed to agents in rational choice models (Tversky and Kahneman 1974). Behavioral economics incorporates evidence of decision-making flaws that people exhibit to model consumer markets in which sophisticated firms interact with boundedly rational consumers. Behavioral law and economics uses existing scholarship in both cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to explain legal...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE), Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands