1st Edition

Law and Economics

Edited By Eric A. Posner Copyright 2001
    584 Pages
    by Routledge

    Law and economics is an influential field of legal theory in the United States. Its practitioners use the methodology of economics for the purpose of analyzing a diverse assortment of legal topics. This volume contains a selection of recent work in law and economics. The first part includes representative articles from different fields of law, including contracts, torts, criminal law, intellectual property and civil procedure. The second part shows ways in which law and economics has been changing in the last decade. It includes articles representing recent work that relaxes the rational actor model by introducing biases discovered by cognitive psychology; that tests law and economics with experimental techniques that are now popular in economics; that introduces computer modeling to law and economics; and that expands the domain of law and economics to take account of social norms and political structures. The articles are accessible to students and scholars with no prior expertise in economics and minimal familiarity with American law.

    Contents: Traditional Law and Economics: Contracts: Filling gaps in incomplete contracts: an economic theory of default rules, Ian Ayres and Robert Gertner. Torts: The boundaries of vicarious liability: an economic analysis of the scope of employment rule and related legal doctrines, Alan O. Sykes. Property: An economic analysis of copyright law, William M. Landes and Richard A. Posner. Criminal Law: The deterrent effect of capital punishment: a question of life and death, Isaac Ehrlich. Bankruptcy: A new approach to corporate reorganizations, Lucian Ayre Bebchuk. Procedure: A new theory concerning the credibility and success of threats to sue, Lucian Ayre Bebchuk Statutory Interpretation: Promoting public-regarding legislation through statutory interpretation: an interest group model, Jonathan R. Macey. Law and Wealth Redistribution: Why the legal system is less efficient than the income tax in redistributing income, Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell. Frontiers: Behavioral: A behavioral approach to law and economics, Cass R. Sunstein and Richard Thaler. Social Norms: Symbols, signals and social norms in politics and the law, Eric A. Posner. Positive Political Theory: The Article I section 7 game, William N. Eskridge Jr and John Ferejohn. Experimental: Fear and loathing in the Coase Theorem: experimental tests involving physical discomfort, Elizabeth Hoffman and Matthew L. Spitzer. Computer Models: Simple games in a complex world; a generative approach to the adoption of norms, Randal C. Picker; Name index.


    Eric A. Posner

    ’This book provides a valuable introduction to Law and Economics and an excellent guide to the state of the art in this field. Law and Economics is having an increasing influence on trends and developments in many areas of commercial law and this book should provide commercial lawyers with a useful insight into this influence. It will be a valuable addition to most libraries.’ Journal of International Financial Markets