The comparative study of law and the institutions of law have enriched our understanding of the role law plays in our society by comparing law and legal institutions in different countries, but we have lacked a strong theoretical structure. Scholars studying the role of law in society by applying economic theories have offered a parsimonious theoretical structure with which to understand the relationship between law and society but have tended to focus only on American legal issues. Ugo Mattei joins insights from both areas of scholarship in a productive relationship that furthers our understanding of why societies adopt different laws and why some societies share similar laws.
Mattei shows how concepts from economics can be applied to the study of comparative law. He then applies the concepts to several significant problems in comparative law, including the history and sources of law, differences between civil and common law systems, and the reasons for legal change and the movement of law from one country to another. He looks at specific problems in property, contracts, and trust law. Finally he uses the insights he has developed to understand the issues involved in changing law in developing countries and in formerly socialist countries.
This book will be of interest to scholars of law, economics, and development, as well as those interested in transformation in formerly communist states.
Ugo Mattei is Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International and Comparative Law, Hastings College of Law, University of California; and Professor of Civil Law, University of Trento.
Cost-benefit analysis is a widely used governmental evaluation tool, though academics remain skeptical. This volume gathers prominent contributors from law, economics, and philosophy for discussion of cost-benefit analysis, specifically its moral foundations, applications and limitations.
This new scholarly debate includes not only economists, but also contributors from philosophy, cognitive psychology, legal studies, and public policy who can further illuminate the justification and moral implications of this method and specify alternative measures.
These articles originally appeared in the Journal of Legal Studies.
- Matthew D. Adler - Gary S. Becker
- John Broome - Robert H. Frank
- Robert W. Hahn - Lewis A. Kornhauser
- Martha C. Nussbaum - Eric A. Posner
- Richard A. Posner - Henry S. Richardson
- Amartya Sen - Cass R. Sunstein
- W. Kip Viscusi
Fairness versus Welfare
Louis KAPLOW Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress K247.K37 2002 | Dewey Decimal 340.11
By what criteria should public policy be evaluated? Fairness and justice? Or the welfare of individuals? Debate over this fundamental question has spanned the ages. Fairness versus Welfare poses a bold challenge to contemporary moral philosophy by showing that most moral principles conflict more sharply with welfare than is generally recognized. Fairness versus Welfare has profound implications for the theory and practice of policy analysis and has already generated considerable debate in academia.
Major approaches to law and public policy, ranging from law and economics to the fundamental rights approach to constitutional law, are based on the belief that the identification of the correct social goals or values is the key to describing or prescribing law and public policy outcomes. In this book, Neil Komesar argues that this emphasis on goal choice ignores an essential element—institutional choice. Indeed, as important as determining our social goals is deciding which institution is best equipped to implement them—the market, the political process, or the adjucative process.
Pointing out that all three institutions are massive, complex, and imperfect, Komesar develops a strategy for comparative institutional analysis that assesses variations in institutional ability. He then powerfully demonstrates the value of this analytical framework by using it to examine important contemporary issues ranging from tort reform to constitution-making.
Is file-sharing destroying the music industry? Should the courts encourage breach of contract? Does the threat of malpractice lawsuits cause doctors to provide too much medical care? Do judges discriminate when sentencing? With Issues in Law and Economics, Harold Winter takes readers through these and other recent and controversial questions. In an accessible and engaging manner, Winter shows these legal issues can be reexamined through the use of economic analysis. Using real-world cases to highlight issues, Winter offers step-by-step analysis, guiding readers through the identification of the trade-offs involved in each issue and assessing the economic evidence from scholarly research before exploring how this research may be used to guide policy recommendations. The book is divided into four sections, covering the basic practice areas of property, contracts, torts, and crime, with a fifth section devoted to a concise introduction to the topic of behavioral law and economics. Each chapter concludes with a series of thought-provoking discussion questions that provide readers the opportunity to further explore important ideas and concepts.
In this introduction to Japanese law, J. Mark Ramseyer and Minoru Nakazato combine an economic approach with a clear and often amusing account of the law itself to challenge commonly held ideas about the law. Arguing against such things as the assumption that Japanese law differs from law in the United States and the idea that law plays only a trivial role in Japan or is culturally determined, this book will be recognized as a major contribution to the understanding of Japanese law.
"A compelling economic analysis. . . . This book remains one of the few concerning Japanese law that successfully brings to life the legal culture of Japan." —Bonnie L. Dixon, New York Law Journal
Recent high-profile corporate scandals—such as those involving Enron in the United States, Yukos in Russia, and Livedoor in Japan—demonstrate challenges to legal regulation of business practices in capitalist economies. Setting forth a new analytic framework for understanding these problems, Law and Capitalism examines such contemporary corporate governance crises in six countries, to shed light on the interaction of legal systems and economic change. This provocative book debunks the simplistic view of law’s instrumental function for financial market development and economic growth.
Using comparative case studies that address the United States, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Russia, Curtis J. Milhaupt and Katharina Pistor argue that a disparate blend of legal and nonlegal mechanisms have supported economic growth around the world. Their groundbreaking findings show that law and markets evolve together in a “rolling relationship,” and legal systems, including those of the most successful economies, therefore differ significantly in their organizational characteristics. Innovative and insightful, Law and Capitalism will change the way lawyers, economists, policy makers, and business leaders think about legal regulation in an increasingly global market for capital and corporate governance.
In Law and Public Choice, Daniel Farber and Philip Frickey present a remarkably rich
and accessible introduction to the driving principles of public choice. In this, the first
systematic look at the implications of social choice for legal doctrine, Farber and Frickey
carefully review both the empirical and theoretical literature about interest group influence and provide a nonmathematical introduction to formal models of legislative action. Ideal for course use, this volume offers a balanced and perceptive analysis and critique of an approach which, within limits, can illuminate the dynamics of government decision-making.
“Law and Public Choice is a most valuable contribution to the burgeoning literature. It
should be of great interest to lawyers, political scientists, and all others interested in issues at the intersection of government and law.”—Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago Law
The economy of the Roman Empire was predominantly agrarian: Roman landowners, agricultural laborers, and small tenant farmers were highly dependent upon one another for assuring stability. By examining the property rights established by the Roman government, in particular the laws concerning land tenure and the contractual relationships between wealthy landowners and the tenant farmers to whom they leased their land, Dennis P. Kehoe is able to demonstrate how the state fostered economic development and who benefited the most. In this bold application of economic theory, Kehoe explores the relationship between Roman private law and the development of the Roman economy during a crucial period of the Roman Empire, from the second to the fourth century C.E. Kehoe is able to use the laws concerning land tenure, and the Roman government's enforcement of those laws, as a window through which to develop a more comprehensive view of the Roman economy. With its innovative application of the methodologies of law and economics and the New Institutional Economics Law and the Rural Economy in the Roman Empire is a groundbreaking addition to the study of the Roman economy.
Dennis P. Kehoe is Professor of Classical Studies at Tulane University. He is the author of several books, including Investment, Profit, and Tenancy: The Jurists and the Roman Agrarian Economy(University of Michigan Press, 1997).
"Kehoe brings his deep expertise in Roman land tenure systems and his broad knowledge of the methodologies of New Institutional Economics to bear on questions of fundamental importance regarding the relationship of Roman law and society. Was governmental policy on agriculture designed to benefit large landowners or small farmers? What impact did it have on the rural economy? The fascinating answers Kehoe provides in this pathbreaking work should occasion a major reassessment of such problems by social and legal historians."
---Thomas McGinn, Department of Classical Studies at Vanderbilt University, and author of The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World: A Study of Social History and the Brothel and Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome
"A ground-breaking study using the principles of New Institutional Economics to analyze the impact of legal policy in balancing the interests of Roman tenant-farmers and landowners in the 2-4 centuries C.E. Kehoe's book will be essential reading for historians of the Roman Empire, demonstrating how the government overcame challenges and contradictions as it sought to regulate this enormous sector of the economy."
---Susan D. Martin, Department of Classics, University of Tennessee
"In Law and the Rural Economy, Kehoe brings to life the workings of the ancient economy and the Roman legal system. By analyzing interactions between the imperial government, landlords, and tenant farmers in provinces across the Empire, Kehoe opens insights into imperial economic policy. He handles a variety of challenging sources with mastery and wit, and his knowledge of scholarship is extensive and thorough, covering ancient history, textual problems in the sources, legal history and, perhaps most impressively, the modern fields of economic theory and 'law and economics.' Kehoe's innovative and sophisticated methodology sets his work apart. The book will make an important contribution to our understanding of access to the law and the effectiveness of the legal system, important topics for scholars of law, ancient and modern."
---Cynthia J. Bannon, Department of Classical Studies, Indiana University
Transaction costs (TC) are the “friction” in an economic system, and their analysis is vital to understanding institutional design and economic performance. Law and Transaction Costs in the Ancient Economy is the first volume to collect specific studies from a transaction cost perspective. The volume offers models of this new way of looking at ancient evidence, and suggests ways in which traditional subject areas might inform problems in contemporary economics and legal studies.
After the editors’ methodological introduction, the contributors investigate the roles and effects of transaction costs in fourth-century Athens, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Roman Empire, and late antiquity, on the basis of legal texts, papyri, and inscriptions. Collected here are some of the leading voices on TC analysis in ancient history, as well as established scholars, including several who do not usually publish in English: Alain Bresson, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Rudolf Haensch, Dennis Kehoe, François Lerouxel, J. G. Manning, Brian Muhs, Josiah Ober, David M. Ratzan, Gerhard Thür, and Uri Yiftach.
This volume will speak to those who identify with traditional subject areas, like epigraphy or Greek law, and will also demonstrate the value of experimenting with this new way of looking at ancient evidence.
Lawsuits are rare events in most people's lives. High-stakes cases are even less commonplace. Why is it, then, that scholarship about the Japanese legal system has focused almost exclusively on epic court battles, large-scale social issues, and corporate governance? Mark D. West's Law in Everyday Japan fills a void in our understanding of the relationship between law and social life in Japan by shifting the focus to cases more representative of everyday Japanese life.
Compiling case studies based on seven fascinating themes—karaoke-based noise complaints, sumo wrestling, love hotels, post-Kobe earthquake condominium reconstruction, lost-and-found outcomes, working hours, and debt-induced suicide—Law in Everyday Japan offers a vibrant portrait of the way law intermingles with social norms, historically ingrained ideas, and cultural mores in Japan. Each example is informed by extensive fieldwork. West interviews all of the participants-from judges and lawyers to defendants, plaintiffs, and their families-to uncover an everyday Japan where law matters, albeit in very surprising ways.
There are two kinds of knowledge law school teaches: legal rules on the one hand, and tools for thinking about legal problems on the other. Although the tools are far more interesting and useful than the rules, they tend to be neglected in favor of other aspects of the curriculum. In The Legal Analyst, Ward Farnsworth brings together in one place all of the most powerful of those tools for thinking about law.
From classic ideas in game theory such as the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” and the “Stag Hunt” to psychological principles such as hindsight bias and framing effects, from ideas in jurisprudence such as the slippery slope to more than two dozen other such principles, Farnsworth’s guide leads readers through the fascinating world of legal thought. Each chapter introduces a single tool and shows how it can be used to solve different types of problems. The explanations are written in clear, lively language and illustrated with a wide range of examples.
The Legal Analyst is an indispensable user’s manual for law students, experienced practitioners seeking a one-stop guide to legal principles, or anyone else with an interest in the law.
After the American Civil War, agricultural reformers in the South called for an end to unrestricted grazing of livestock on unfenced land. They advocated the stock law, which required livestock owners to fence in their animals, arguing that the existing system (in which farmers built protective fences around crops) was outdated and inhibited economic growth. The reformers steadily won their battles, and by the end of the century the range was on the way to being closed.
In this original study, Kantor uses economic analysis to show that, contrary to traditional historical interpretation, this conflict was centered on anticipated benefits from fencing livestock rather than on class, cultural, or ideological differences. Kantor proves that the stock law brought economic benefits; at the same time, he analyzes why the law's adoption was hindered in many areas where it would have increased wealth. This argument illuminates the dynamics of real-world institutional change, where transactions are often costly and where some inefficient institutions persist while others give way to economic growth.
On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog.
In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial.
To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading; to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.
For more than two decades, the law and economics movement has been one of the most influential and controversial schools of thought in American jurisprudence. In this authoritative intellectual history, James R. Hackney Jr. situates the modern law and economics movement within the trajectory of American jurisprudence from the early days of the Republic to the present. Hackney is particularly interested in the claims of objectivity or empiricism asserted by proponents of law and economics. He argues that the incorporation of economic analysis into legal decision making is not an inherently objective enterprise. Rather, law and economics often cloaks ideological determinations—particularly regarding the distribution of wealth—under the cover of science.
Hackney demonstrates how legal-economic thought has been affected by the prevailing philosophical ideas about objectivity, which have in turn evolved in response to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Thus Hackney’s narrative is a history not only of law and economics but also of select strands of philosophy and science. He traces forward from the seventeenth-century the interaction of legal thinking and economic analysis with ideas about the attainability of certitude. The principal legal-economic theories Hackney examines are those that emerged from classical legal thought, legal realism, law and neoclassical economics, and critical legal studies. He links these theories respectively to formalism, pragmatism, the analytic turn, and neopragmatism/postmodernism, and he explains how each of these schools of philosophical thought was influenced by specific scientific discoveries: Newtonian physics, Darwin’s theory of evolution, Einstein’s theories of relativity, and quantum mechanics. Under Cover of Science challenges claims that the contemporary law and economics movement is an objective endeavor by historicizing ideas about certitude and empiricism and their relation to legal-economic thought.