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The Use of Economics for Understanding Law: An Economist's View of the Cathedral

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  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This essay offers some observations, from the perspective of an economist, on the usefulness of economics for understanding law. Economic analysis provides a coherent theoretical framework for unifying different areas of law based on the pursuit of efficiency. It does this by recognizing common problems across different areas, which give rise to solutions that, while outwardly different, have the same underlying form. In this way, economics provides a theory of law. But economists can also learn a lot about how the economy functions by thinking more carefully about the role of law in facilitating economic activity. The success of law and economics ultimately resides in the recognition of this fundamental interrelationship between the two disciplines.

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File URL: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/working/2011-25.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2011-25.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-25

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Postal: University of Connecticut 341 Mansfield Road, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
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Keywords: Law and Economics;

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  1. Miceli, Thomas J., 1991. "Optimal criminal procedure: Fairness and deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, May.
  2. Polinsky, A Mitchell, 1980. "On the Choice between Property Rules and Liability Rules," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 233-46, April.
  3. Friedmann, Daniel, 1989. "The Efficient Breach Fallacy," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 1-24, January.
  4. Stigler, George J, 1992. "Law or Economics?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 455-68, October.
  5. Sykes, Alan O, 1990. "The Doctrine of Commercial Impracticability in a Second-Best World," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 43-94, January.
  6. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 43-68.
  7. Lewin, Jeff L. & Trumbull, William N., 1990. "The social value of crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 271-284, December.
  8. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  9. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Yeon-Koo Che, 1991. "Decoupling Liability: Optimal Incentives for Care and Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 562-570, Winter.
  10. Grady, Mark F, 1988. "Common Law Control of Strategic Behavior: Railroad Sparks and the Farmer," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 15-42, January.
  11. Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Robert Schneider, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," NBER Working Papers 5405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Miceli, Thomas J., 2012. "Judicial versus ‘natural’ selection of legal rules with an application to accident law," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 143-159, June.
  13. Harris, John R, 1970. "On the Economics of Law and Order," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-74, Jan.-Feb..
  14. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  15. Thomas J. Miceli & Kathleen Segerson, 2011. "Regulatory Takings," Working papers 2011-16, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  16. Miceli, Thomas J & Segerson, Kathleen, 1994. "Regulatory Takings: When Should Compensation Be Paid?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 749-76, June.
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