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Risk Management in Long-Term Contracts

10 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2005  

Victor P. Goldberg

Columbia Law School

Date Written: September 2005


Long-term contracts are designed to manage risk. After a brief discussion of why it is unhelpful to invoke risk aversion for analyzing serious commercial transactions between sophisticated entities, this paper focuses on adaptation to changed circumstances. In particular, it considers the options to abandon and the discretion to change quantity. It then analyzes a poorly designed contract between Alcoa and Essex showing how the parties misframed their problem and designed a long-term contract that was doomed to fail.

JEL Classification: K3

Suggested Citation

Goldberg, Victor P., Risk Management in Long-Term Contracts (September 2005). Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No. 282. Available at SSRN: or

Victor Paul Goldberg (Contact Author)

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