IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decentralizing the lawmaking function: Private lawmaking markets and intellectual property rights in law


  • Bone, Robert G.


In a series of articles and a book published shortly before his death, Professor Larry Ribstein argued for decentralizing the lawmaking function, enabling private parties to make law, and harnessing the market as a force for legal innovation. As part of this project, Professor Ribstein, along with Professor Bruce Kobayashi, called for broader intellectual property (IP) rights in legal creations. Their argument relies on the conventional quasi-public goods rationale for IP rights. Innovators have suboptimal incentives to create new law in the absence of property rights because competitors can free ride on their creations. As a result, without IP rights, privately-made law would be created, as it is today, mostly as a byproduct of other activities such as litigation or political rent-seeking. And byproduct lawmaking is likely to produce suboptimal law. Broader IP rights solve the free rider problem and thus make possible a vigorous private lawmaking market.

Suggested Citation

  • Bone, Robert G., 2014. "Decentralizing the lawmaking function: Private lawmaking markets and intellectual property rights in law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(S), pages 132-143.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:38:y:2014:i:s:p:132-143
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2013.07.003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Gillian Hadfield & Eric Talley, 2006. "On Public versus Private Provision of Corporate Law," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 414-441, October.
    3. Bhagat, Sanjai & Romano, Roberta, 2007. "Empirical Studies of Corporate Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, in: A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell (ed.), Handbook of Law and Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 13, pages 945-1012, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Elke Renner, 2004. "Wie lässt sich Korruption wirksam bekämpfen?: Empirische Befunde aus der experimentellen Wirtschaftsforschung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 73(2), pages 292-300.
    2. Jingze Jiang, 2016. "Peer Pressure in Voluntary Environmental Programs: a Case of the Bag Rewards Program," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 155-190, June.
    3. Dickinson, David & Villeval, Marie-Claire, 2008. "Does monitoring decrease work effort?: The complementarity between agency and crowding-out theories," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 56-76, May.
    4. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    5. Gauguier, Jean-Jacques, 2009. "L’industrialisation de l’Open Source," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/4388 edited by Toledano, Joëlle.
    6. Ramm, Joachim & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2013. "Incentives and creativity in groups," Working Papers in Economics 06/13, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    7. Yamamura, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro & Ohtake, Fumio, 2018. "Altruistic and selfish motivations of charitable giving: The case of the hometown tax donation system (Furusato nozei) in Japan," MPRA Paper 86181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2008. "Obligations and cooperative behaviour in public good games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 146-170, September.
    9. Leibbrandt, Andreas & Lynham, John, 2018. "Does the allocation of property rights matter in the commons?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 201-217.
    10. Fafchamps, Marcel & Islam, Asad & Malek, Mohammad Abdul & Pakrashi, Debayan, 2020. "Can referral improve targeting? Evidence from an agricultural training experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    11. Cecere, Grazia & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Waste prevention and social preferences: the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 163-176.
    12. Buehler, Stefan & Nicolas Eschenbaum, 2018. "Explaining Escalating Fines and Prices: The Curse of Positive Selection," Economics Working Paper Series 1807, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    13. Silverman, Dan & Slemrod, Joel & Uler, Neslihan, 2014. "Distinguishing the role of authority “in” and authority “to”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 32-42.
    14. Charles Ayoubi & Boris Thurm, 2023. "Knowledge diffusion and morality: Why do we freely share valuable information with Strangers?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 75-99, January.
    15. Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Discussion of 'BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS'," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000539, UCLA Department of Economics.
    16. Boshi, Shlomi & Lavie, Moshik & Weiss, Avi, 2016. "The demand for free goods: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 108-121.
    17. Sule, Alan & Cemalcilar, Mehmet & Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2015. "Unshrouding Effects on Demand for a Costly Add-on: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey," Center Discussion Papers 198558, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    18. Pokorny, Kathrin, 2008. "Pay--but do not pay too much: An experimental study on the impact of incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 251-264, May.
    19. Maria Cotofan, 2019. "Learning from Praise: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Teachers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-082/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    20. Erik O. Kimbrough & Vernon L. Smith & Bart J. Wilson, 2008. "Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-Distance Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1009-1039, June.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:38:y:2014:i:s:p:132-143. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.