The 'Branding Effect' of Contracts

11 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2006

See all articles by D. Gordon Smith

D. Gordon Smith

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School


In his case study of the MasterCard IPO and its predecessor piece on the Google IPO, Victor Fleischer claims to find evidence of a branding effect of legal infrastructure. The branding effect is not aimed at reducing the potential for opportunism by a counterparty to a contract, but rather at increasing the attractiveness of a product to present and future users or improving the image of a company in the eyes of regulators, judges, and juries. In this essay commenting on Fleischer's work, I endorse the notion that deal structures have branding effects and position Fleischer's work within a larger stream of scholarship that focuses on the substantive terms of contracts rather than on contract doctrine or dispute resolution in various contractual settings. In addition, I offer a few refinements to Fleischer's notion of branding effect.

Keywords: branding, contracts, opportunism

JEL Classification: K12, K20, K22

Suggested Citation

Smith, D. Gordon, The 'Branding Effect' of Contracts. Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Vol. 12, 2006; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1027. Available at SSRN: or

D. Gordon Smith (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

422 JRCB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801.422.3233 (Phone)
801.422.0390 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics