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Bankruptcy Law as Social Legislation

Todd J. Zywicki

George Mason University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 01-18

Bankruptcy law is generally thought of as being purely economic in nature. But personal bankruptcy is also a form of post-contractual opportunism that reflects a moral decision to allow an individual to repudiate a promise of repayment. Thus, the bankruptcy decision is fraught with moral significance regarding promise-keeping and reciprocity. Reciprocity, it is argued, is the cornerstone of a free economy, healthy civil society, and democratic governance. Rampant personal bankruptcy, it is argued, frays these bonds of reciprocity that are necessary for a free, responsible, and self-governing society.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

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Date posted: July 16, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Zywicki, Todd J., Bankruptcy Law as Social Legislation. George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 01-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=273988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.273988

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Todd J. Zywicki (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8091 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)

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PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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