Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Political Science Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Political Theory

Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

Aghion

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David Gamage, Allon Kedem Jan 2006

Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David Gamage, Allon Kedem

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Under the traditional consideration doctrine, a promise is only legally enforceable if it is made in exchange for something of value. This doctrine lies at the heart of contract law, yet it lacks a sound theoretical justification a fact that has confounded generations of scholars and created a mess of case law.

This article argues that the failure of traditional justifications for the doctrine comes from two mistaken assumptions. First, previous scholars have assumed that anyone can back a promise with nominal consideration if they wish to do so. We show how social norms against commodification limit the availability of ...