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Using an interdisciplinary approach involving economics, sociology and law, this book explores fundamental questions about the purposes and effects of legal regulation of contractual relationships. What kind of social relation do contracts create, or, more precisely, how do contracts govern social interaction. How are contractual relations, or more generally, markets constructed? Does the law play a significant role in particular practices, and in particular, what do lawyers, courts, and legal sanctions contribute to the contractual social order? For what distributive purposes does the law attempt regulation?
The controversial conclusions of this study suggest that the law plays an insignificant role in the construction of markets, and that law and lawyers could provide better assistance by using indeterminate regulation that permits the recontextualization of legal reasoning.