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Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

Bankruptcy Law

2004

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Credible Coercion, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar Mar 2004

Credible Coercion, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The ideal of individual liberty and autonomy requires that society provide relief against coercion. In the law, this requirement is often translated into rules that operate “post-coercion” to undo the legal consequences of acts and promises extracted under duress. This Article argues that these ex-post anti-duress measures, rather than helping the coerced party, might in fact hurt her. When coercion is credible—when a credible threat to inflict an even worse outcome underlies the surrender of the coerced party—ex post relief will only induce the strong party to execute the threatened outcome, to the detriment of the coerced party ...