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SYNALLAGMA AND FREEDOM OF CONTRACT - The Concept of Reciprocity and Fairness in Contracts from the Historical and Law and Economics Perspective

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  • Mariusz Jerzy Golecki

    (University of Lodz)

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    Abstract

    The problem of commutative justice has been widely analysed by the contemporary doctrine of civil law. Simultaneously there is a profound debate about the meaning of commutative justice and equivalence in exchange within the sphere of moral philosophy. All these issues seem to concern the problem of interdependence between parties. Such interdependence is called synallagma or the principle of synallagma. In this paper I would like to present the concept of synallagma in civil law and in philosophy of law. Since the dispute in both disciplines seems to be unresolved and inconclusive, I would like to present the two economic theories concerning synallagma as the strategic interaction between agents. The most appropriate tool to be implemented seems to be the game theory. In conclusion I would like to address the question whether substantial and objective equivalence in contracts is possible or under which conditions it is meaningful.

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    Paper provided by Berkeley Electronic Press in its series German Working Papers in Law and Economics with number 2003-1-1070.

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    Handle: RePEc:bep:dewple:2003-1-1070

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    1. Samuels, Warren J, 1971. "Interrelations Between Legal and Economic Processes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 435-50, October.
    2. Kronman, Anthony T, 1985. "Contract Law and the State of Nature," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 5-32, Spring.
    3. Richard A. Posner, 1993. "Ronald Coase and Methodology," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 195-210, Fall.
    4. S. Todd Lowry, 1969. "Aristotle's Mathematical Analysis of Exchange," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 44-66, Spring.
    5. Thomas J. Lewis, 1978. "Acquisition and Anxiety: Aristotle's Case against the Market," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(1), pages 69-90, February.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
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