Efficient Contract Remedies and the European Unification

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Abstract

This paper applies theoretical results that are derived from financial-economic principles to the issue of efficient contract remedies in view of the European Unification. Common Law favors the ‘expectation damages' remedy, according to which a party who is aggrieved by a breach of contract expects an ex-post damages award, while this paper demonstrates that if the subject of the contract is traded continuously with observable values, an alternative remedy is equally efficient and just. The alternative remedy is rationalized on an ex-ante basis, and thus, courts intervention in the event of a breach of contract may not be essential. The EU aims to establish a “uniform commercial code superior to all national law.” This goal reflects current cultural differences and lacks of homogeneity, such as expectations and risk preferences across EU Member States. Lacks of homogeneity, can not, however, invalidate the above conclusion, as long as prices are continuously traded and a ‘single price' regime prevails. Accordingly, this paper predicts that since price differentials across Member States are likely to disappear faster than other non-homogeneous factors, the Court of Justice will show a tendency to rule, utilizing the rationale underlying the ‘ex-ante regime,' and perhaps, to overturn country-specific rulings by National Courts, which favor the ‘expectation damages regime.'
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)93-112
JournalThe European Journal of Law and Economics
Volume10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

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