Case Law Studies

Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 29-46

First online:

A Feminist Perspective on Contract Theories from Law and Economics

  • Alice BelcherAffiliated withDepartment of Law, University of Dundee

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This article offers a feminist perspective on contract theories in law,economics and law-and-economics. It identifies masculine traits presentcontract theories in all three disciplines. It then describes andassesses some developments that appear to be ‘feminising’: Therecognition of the importance of social norms in contract theory andtheories of contract as relationship. The article's main claim is that amasculine model of decision-making persists even within the less overtlymasculine models of contract. The problem of sexually transmitted debtresulting from a surety contract is analysed in detail as a specificexample supporting the article's general argument. The article concludesthat the way forward is to be found in a recognition of other ways ofmaking decisions.

contract theory feminist law economics law-and-economics decision-making sexually transmitted debt