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The Economic Structure of Fiduciary Law

13 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2011 Last revised: 25 Jul 2012

Robert H. Sitkoff

Harvard Law School

Date Written: March 10, 2011


This essay revisits the economic theory of fiduciary law. Nearly two decades have passed since the publication of the seminal economic analyses of fiduciary law by Cooter and Freedman (1991), and by Easterbrook and Fischel (1993), which together have come to underpin the prevailing economic, contractarian model of fiduciary law. The economic theory of agency that motivates those papers has come to permeate the literature on law and legal institutions generally. The law-and-economics movement has matured further, developing new tools and refining its understanding of previously applied concepts. The purpose of this essay is to restate the economic theory of fiduciary law in an updated and accessible synthesis.

JEL Classification: D86, J41, K11, K12, K22, L14

Suggested Citation

Sitkoff, Robert H., The Economic Structure of Fiduciary Law (March 10, 2011). Boston University Law Review, Vol. 91, p. 1041, 2011; Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 689. Available at SSRN: or

Robert H. Sitkoff (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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