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Economic Analysis of the General Structure of the Law

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  • Steven Shavell

Abstract

This paper contains a chapter on the general structure of the law from a forthcoming book, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law (Harvard University Press, 2003). In this chapter, I consider basic features of the legal system, including whether the law directly constrains behavior or channels it by the threat of sanctions, and whether the law is brought into play by private legal action or involves public enforcement. I investigate the conditions under which one or another structure of law will be socially desirable, and I then discuss tort, contract, criminal law, and several other areas of law in the light of the analysis of the optimal structure of the law.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9699.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9699

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  1. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120, November.
  2. Kolstad, Charles D & Ulen, Thomas S & Johnson, Gary V, 1990. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 888-901, September.
  3. Shavell, Steven, 1993. "The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 255-87, April.
  4. Steven Shavell, 1983. "Liability for Harm Versus Regulation of Safety," NBER Working Papers 1218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, November.
  6. A. Mitchell Polinsky, 1979. "Private versus Public Enforcement of Fines," NBER Working Papers 0338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1974. "The Private Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 0062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Germani, Anna Rita & Morone, Andrea & Morone, Piergiuseppe, 2009. "Investigating Discretionary Environmental Enforcement: a pilot experiment," MPRA Paper 12735, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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