A Realistic Critique of Freedom of Contract in Labor Law Negotiations: Creating More Optimal and Just Outcomes


This Note initially discusses fundamental problems created by the “freedom of contract” principle that arise in an era where the imbalance of both wealth and political power are at their highest rates seen in years. This Note also discusses the principles at work in current labor law: (1) how it is influenced by neoclassical economics and, (2) how, in the alternative, both the related legal doctrine and practice of collective bargaining can improve by incorporating behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, and game theory. Labor law practitioners and shapers should recognize neoclassical economics’ shortcomings and adopt a more efficient contractual process that leads to more just and efficient outcomes.


Labor Law, Negotiations, Law and Economics, Law and Psychology, Neoclassical Economics, Collective Bargaining, Neuroeconomics, game theory, Behavioral Economics, Contract



John S Brubaker (Washington University Law)



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