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Law and Economics in Italy: some Thoughts about the Academic and Judicial Reception of Eal


  • Roberto Pardolesi

    () (University LUISS G. Carli, Rome)


The origins and developments of law and economics (L&E) in Italy can be described as an uneasy but successful enterprise with some shadows, most of which regarding the future. The most telling proxy of the inroad of L&E is probably represented by judicial imprinting. Ranging from Constitutional Court to judges of peace, there is plenty of judgements whose holdings are based on the achievements, or at least appear to be sensitive to the hints, of the economic analysis of law, though with different «weights» and degrees of «recognition». On the whole, however, the Italian judiciary not only did not refute the hurdle, but possibly tried to abide by the directives stemming from L&E work. In a sense, on this count, L&E has undoubtedly entered into the legal discourse (or, concededly, the legal parlance). A relevant part of the Italian trajectory has been drawn in what might be called the first scenario of L&E, where it carries out an exploratory activity, in a scientific environment which rejects the need to use any technicalities in economics. The second scenario is characterized by the surge of the economists, who bring along sophisticated analytical tools and hardly conceal a degree of intolerance towards «unstructured», informal rationales. This paves the way towards a process of divergence, which would be at odds with the original interdisciplinary inspiration of L&E, while shutting the door to further developments. If, then, a third scenario is to come, the goal to be pursued should be all too obvious: positing economic analysis as a legal source, relevant to the making of the law and to its actual enforcement. This goal cannot be accomplished against (or despite) jurists.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Pardolesi, 2015. "Law and Economics in Italy: some Thoughts about the Academic and Judicial Reception of Eal," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 23(3), pages 89-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:23:y:2015:3:5:p:89-120

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