Daniel Markovits

Guido Calabresi Professor of Law

J.D., Yale Law School, 2000

B.Phil./D.Phil. (Philosophy), University of Oxford, 1994/1999

M.Sc (Econometrics and Mathematical Economics), London School of Economics, 1992

B.A. (Mathematics), Yale University, 1991

Courses Taught
  • Contracts
  • Advanced Contracts
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Law and Globalization
  • The Theory & History of Toleration
  • Meritocracy and Inequality
  • Seminar in Private Law
  • Private Law Theory Colloquium
Daniel Markovits

Daniel Markovits is the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Private Law. Markovits publishes widely and in a range of disciplines, including law, philosophy, and economics. His writings have appeared in Science, The American Economic Review, The Yale Law Journal, PNAS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and The Atlantic. In 2021, Prospect Magazine named him to its list of the world’s top 50 thinkers. 

His current book, The Meritocracy Trap (Penguin Press, 2019), develops a sustained attack on American meritocracy. The book places meritocracy at the center of rising economic inequality and social and political dysfunction. The book takes up the law, economics, and politics of human capital to identify the mechanisms through which meritocracy breeds inequality and to expose the burdens that meritocratic inequality imposes on all who fall within meritocracy’s orbit.

Markovits is also working on a new book, tentatively called The Good Life after the Age of Growth.

After earning a B.A. in Mathematics, summa cum laude from Yale University, Markovits received a British Marshall Scholarship to study in England, where he was awarded an M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the L.S.E. and a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Markovits then returned to Yale to study law and, after clerking for the Honorable Guido Calabresi, joined the faculty at Yale.



A Modern Legal Ethics: Adversary Advocacy in a Democratic Age (Princeton University Press, 2008)

Contract Law and Legal Methods (Foundation Press, 2012)

Contracts: Law, Theory, and Practice (Foundation Press, 2018) (with Gabriel Rauterberg)

The Meritocracy Trap (Penguin Press, 2019)



How Much Redistribution Should There Be?, 112 Yale Law Journal 2291 (2003)

Legal Ethics from the Lawyer’s Point of View, 15 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 209 (2004)

Contract and Collaboration, 113 Yale Law Journal 1417 (2004)

La Paradoja de la Violencia in LA Violencia:  Seminario en Latinoamerica de Teoria Constitucioinal y Politica 2003 (2004)

The No Retraction Principle and the Morality of Negotiations, 152 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1903 (2004)

Further Thoughts About Legal Ethics from the Lawyer’s Point of View, 16 Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 85 (2004)

Quarantines and Distributive Justice, 33 Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics 323 (2005)

Democratic Disobedience, 114 Yale Law Journal 1897 (2005)

Adversary Advocacy and the Authority of Adjudication, 75 Fordham L. Rev. 1367 (2006) (symposium on the internal point of view in jurisprudence and legal ethics)

Making and Keeping Contracts, 92 Virginia L. Rev. 1325 (2006) (symposium on contemporary political philosophy and private law)

Three Thoughts Concerning “Just Linkage,” 39 Cornell Int’l L. J 655 (2006) (symposium on Global Justice:  Poverty, Human Rights, and Responsibilities)

Comment:  An Inexorable Trend?, Poder Executivo:  Seminario en Latinoamerica de Teoria Constitucioinal y Politica 2006 (forthcoming 2007)

In Praise of the Supporting Cast, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 272 (2007)

Individual Preferences for Giving (with Raymond Fisman and Shachar Kariv), 97 American Economic Review 1858 (2007)

Luck Egalitarianism and Political Solidarity, 9 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 271 (2008) (symposium issue on Moral and Legal Luck)

The Architecture of Integrity, in Reading Bernard Williams (Routledge) (2009)

Promise as an Arm’s Length Relation, in Promises and Agreements:  Philosophical Essays (Oxford) (2010)

Arbitration's Arbitrage: Social Solidarity at the Nexus of Adjudication and Contract, 59 DePaul L. Rev. 431 (2010) (Clifford Symposium on Social Justice)

How (and How Not) to do Legal Ethics, 23 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 1041 (2010)

Three Issues in Legal Ethics, 60 University of Toronto Law Review ­­­1003 (2010)

Legal Ethics Rebound, 12 Legal Ethics 261 (2010)

Not Morality at All, and Certainly Not Morality as Regulative Ideal, 13 Legal Ethics (2010) (Forum on Philosophical Legal Ethics:  Ethics, Morals, and Jurisprudence from the panel on jurisprudence of legal ethics at the fourth International Legal Ethics Congress)

Book Review of Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel, Blind Spots:  Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It, 69 J. Econ. Lit. 52 (2011)

The Myth of Efficient Breach:  New Defenses of the Expectation Interest, 97 Virginia Law Review 1939 (2011) (with Alan Schwartz)   

The Expectation Remedy and the Promissory Basis of Contract, 45 Suffolk Law Review 799 (2012) (symposium in honor of the 30th anniversary of the publication of Contract as Promise) (with Alan Schwartz)

The Expectation Remedy Revisited, 98 Virginia Law Review 1093 (2012) (with Alan Schwartz)

A Problem Concerning Proportional Representation:  Constitutional Politics and the Crisis of Democratic Legitimacy, EUI Working Paper 2012/55 (2012).

Lawyerly Fidelity in Sanford Levinson, Paul Woodruff, and Joel Parker, eds. LOYALTY:  NOMOS LIV (2012)

What are Lawyers For?, 47 Akron L. Rev. 135 (2014) (keynote speech at Miller-Becker Ethics Symposium), republished in the journal of the German-American Lawyers’ Guild.

Good Faith as Contract’s Core Value in The Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (OUP 2014).

Sharing Ex Ante and Sharing Ex Post:  The Non-Contractual Basis of Fiduciary Relations in The Philosophical Foundations of Fiduciary Law (OUP 2014)

Ökonomische Ungleicheit, Ein Beitrag as den USA, PolarKreis 2014.

Authority, Recognition, and the Grounds of Promise, Jurisprudence:  An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, 6:2, 349-356 (2015) (symposium on David Owens, Shaping the Normative Landscape)

The Distributional Preferences of an Elite (with Raymond Fisman and Shachar Kariv), Science, 349, aab0096 (2015). DOI:10.1126/science.aab0096

Remembering Mr. Fairman, ­­­77 Ohio State L.J. 513 (2016)

Civility, Rule-Following, and the Authority of Law, Columbia L. Rev. Sidebar (2016)

Good Faith Bargaining in the Shadow of a Form, in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Contract (Oxford, Hart Publishing 2017)

(In)Efficient Breach of Contract in Francesco Parisi, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 2: Private and Commercial Law (with Alan Schwartz) (2017)

Hope and Fear for Democracy in America, 98 B.U. L. Rev. Online 1 (2018) (symposium on Ganesh Sitaraman, The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution)

Theories of the Common Law of Contract, in Edward N. Zalta, ed., The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2019 Edition)

Plural Values in Contract Law:  Theory and Implementation, 20 Theoretical Inquiries L. 571 (with Alan Schwartz) (Symposium Issue on Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller, The Choice Theory of Contracts) (2019)

Contract, in J. Tasioulas, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2020)

Re-Thinking Remedies in Private Law (with Alan Schwartz) (working paper)

Market Solidarity: Price as Commensuration, Contract as Integration (working paper)

Promise Made Pure (working paper)

A New Theory of the Firm (working paper)