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Value and Exchange in Law and Economics: Buchanan versus Posner

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  • Alain Marciano

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Abstract

Meir Kohn’s Exchange and Value claims that economics can be characterised around two opposed paradigms, the exchange and the value paradigms. In this paper, we apply this dichotomy to characterise the analyses proposed by economists in the field known as “law and economics”. We compare and contrasts the perspectives proposed by two prominent scholars – James Buchanan and Richard Posner – and argue that they respectively represent the exchange and the value paradigm in law and economics. More precisely, we show that Buchanan sticks to a definition of economics based on the exchange paradigm, and this leads him to efine law and economics in a rather specific, different, narrower than Posner’s way to define law and economics – a definition that corresponds to a conception of economics based on the value paradigm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 31-2006.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:31-2006

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Keywords: Political economy; law and economics; economic analysis of law; subject matter; Buchanan; Posner; exchange; value.;

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  1. Coase, R H, 1996. "Law and Economics and A. W. Brian Simpson," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 103-19, January.
  2. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
  3. James Buchanan, 1990. "The domain of constitutional economics," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, December.
  4. Meir Kohn, 2004. "Value and Exchange," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 303-339, Fall.
  5. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1976. "Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Buchanan, James M, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective: Comment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 903-05, December.
  7. Samuels, Warren J, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective: Comment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 907-11, December.
  8. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  9. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2005. "Economic Analysis of Law," Discussion Papers 05-005, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  10. Buchanan, James M, 1988. "Contractarian Political Economy and Constitutional Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 135-39, May.
  11. Buchanan, James M, 1972. "Politics, Property, and the Law: An Alternative Interpretation of Miller et al. v. Schoene," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 439-52, October.
  12. Sandmo, Agnar, 1990. "Buchanan on Political Economy: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 50-65, March.
  13. Posner, Richard A, 1987. "The Law and Economics Movement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 1-13, May.
  14. Coase, Ronald, 1998. "The New Institutional Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 72-74, May.
  15. Posner, Richard A, 1993. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Law and Economics," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 211-15, June.
  16. Coase, R H, 1993. "Law and Economics at Chicago," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 239-54, April.
  17. Buchanan, James M, 1975. "A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 225-30, May.
  18. Posner, Richard A, 1970. "A Statistical Study of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 365-419, October.
  19. repec:cto:journl:v:24:y:2004:i:3:p: is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Harnay, Sophie & Marciano, Alain, 2009. "Posner, Economics And The Law: From “Law And Economics” To An Economic Analysis Of Law," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(02), pages 215-232, June.

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