Emily Sherwin, ‘The Rationality of Promising’

Abstract
Binding promises yield a number of practical benefits, if in fact they are binding. One benefit is coordination. Knowing that she must perform, the promisor can allocate her time and resources more effectively. The promisee, meanwhile, can make plans on the assumption that the promised act will occur. Markets for future exchange rely on the coordinating power of binding promises. For this purpose, it may be possible in theory to support coordination by designing and enforcing an ideal set of legal rules governing contractual obligation. Almost certainly, however, markets will function more effectively if promises also impose obligations to perform on those who make them …

Sherwin, Emily (2018) The Rationality of Promising, Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy: Volume 27 : Issue 3, Article 2.

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