Enforceable promises discourage lying, cheating, and stealing. Contracts that embody such promises shape institutions, distribute power, and organize markets. The Smith–King critique of elite empirical contracts scholarship reveals a field preoccupied with the first set of functions and barely interested in the second. I am loath to second-guess this view without empirical evidence of my own. Instead, I draw from it two sets of implications—one for the substantive study of contracts, the other for the relationship between contract theory and contract empiricism.