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This chapter discusses alternative theories of contract choice and design with special emphasis on (i) the interaction between contract design and contract enforcement and (ii) the explanatory power of alternative theories. After discussing the primary functions of a contract, the entry reviews the assumptions and implications for contract design of the three dominant approaches to contracting in economics. An overview of the empirical literature on contracting and contractual choice identifies the main empirical regularities and their relation to the theory. A final section addresses implications for contract law and enforcement and directions for future research.
Keywords: Contracting, Contract Enforcement, Incentives, Transaction Costs