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The Role of Entrepreneurship in Shaping Legal Evolution


  • Krecké Elisabeth

    (Université d’Aix-Marseille III)


This paper adopts an economic interpretation of the legal process, explaining legal change as the outcome of the complex interplay of entrepreneurial forces operating inside (through the actions of legislators, judges, lawyers), as well as outside the legal system (in the marketplace). The question of concern is whether the concept of entrepreneur as elaborated by Kirzner in a theory of the market process can be extended to understand the legal process as well. The focus on the alertness of legal decision-makers, their capacity to learn from experience and the multitude of legal and nonlegal (in particular economic) sources they are referring to, seems to provide a possible methodology for an economic approach to law that avoids the exaggerated belief in the objectivity, determinacy and cogency of legal reasoning typical for mainstream law-and-economics, and at the same time the opposite exaggeration of laws radical subjectivity and indeterminacy characterizing most of contemporary critical legal literature.Cet article adopte une interprétation économique du processus juridique en expliquant lévolution du droit comme le résultat de linteraction complexe de forces entrepreneuriales opérant à l intérieur (par le biais des législateurs, juges, avocats) et à lextérieur du système juridique (à travers le marché). Il sagit de montrer que le concept dentrepreneur élaboré par Kirzner pour expliquer le fonctionnement du processus de marché peut offrir une méthodologie également pour comprendre les processus de production du droit. En mettant laccent sur la vigilance des décideurs, leur capacité dapprendre par lexpérience, ainsi que la multitude des sources juridiques et extrajuridiques (notamment économiques) auxquelles ils se réfèrent, une approche économique du droit qui renvoie à cette théorie de lentrepreneur, peut éviter dun côté lhypothèse irréaliste domniscience de lautorité juridique qui sous-tend lanalyse économique traditionnelle du droit et de lautre côté, lhypothèse opposée non moins exagérée de la subjectivité et de lindétermination radicales de lévolution juridique qui caractérise une partie dominante de la littérature juridique critique contemporaine.

Suggested Citation

  • Krecké Elisabeth, 2002. "The Role of Entrepreneurship in Shaping Legal Evolution," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-18, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:2:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benson Bruce L., 2000. "Jurisdictional Choice in International Trade: Implications for Lex Cybernatoria," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Krecke, Elisabeth, 2003. "Economic analysis and legal pragmatism," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 421-437, December.
    2. Harper, David A., 2013. "Property rights, entrepreneurship and coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 62-77.

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