This seminar will explore various approaches to theorizing the role of contracts within the law and within the economy: approaches that emphasize economic efficiency, liberty and/or property interests, or law’s role in organizing economic coordination generally. (These may overlap.) Why favor, or disfavor, contracts to other forms of economic coordination? Why prefer certain types of contracts to other types? Is it meaningful to distinguish between “private” and “public” action, or private and public economic coordination, in answering these questions? Readings from legal sources will include the direct regulation and enforcement of contracts as such (the subject matter of traditional Contracts courses), as well as the regulation of contracts through more specialized areas of law (notably labor law, employment law, and antitrust law). Readings will also draw from works of legal theory, both historical and contemporary, and from economic thought of various schools.