Skip to main content
The Discourse of "Contract" and the Law of Marriage
Research in Law and Economics (2009)
  • Thomas W Joo

Marriage is often compared to a "contract." While this analogy bases the law of marriage on a presumed settled concept called "contract," it rests in fact on a contested view of "contract": that legitimate obligation must derive from consent. This focus on consent ignores another, contradictory, strand of contract law that imposes obligations without consent. The pervasiveness of the consent-centered "contract" analogy affects our understanding of "contract" as much as it affects our understanding of marriage.

  • contracts,
  • marriage,
  • family law,
  • law and economics
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Law & Economics: Toward Social Justice Research in Law and Economics, Volume 24, 161–187 Copyright 2009 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Citation Information
Thomas W Joo. "The Discourse of "Contract" and the Law of Marriage" Research in Law and Economics Iss. 24 (2009)
Available at: