Empirical Approaches to Contract Law (Hoffman,D)
M 12:50PM - 2:50PM
Tanenbaum Hall 320
This seminar surveys the empirical literature on contracts and contracting. It is organized around three questions, which will serially recur in the readings:
(1) What terms are in contracts, and why? (2) When do firms or individuals pay attention to terms (if ever)? (3) How do individuals and firms respond to contract terms?
That is, rather than approaching the field of contracts from the typical doctrinal or economic perspectives, we will proceed more pragmatically, using sociology and psychology to develop models of how agreements are formed and order relationships.
The primary goal of this course is for students to undertake their own original empirical research project into a contract law adjacent topic. You will be expected to design such a project and execute on it within the semester. Previous examples include collecting and analyzing leases, gym contracts, and IP license agreements, as well as a qualitative interviews into food truck operator contracts and informal transnational loan networks based in Philadelphia.
Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.