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Economic analysis of law

  • Robert Holman

Economic analysis of law concerns predicting impacts of legislative rules on incentives and behaviour of individuals and judging social efficiency of alternative legislative rules. It applies price theory, welfare theory and public choice theory on creating and applying law. One of its main shortcomings however is the lack of criteria of social efficiency. Modern history of economic analysis of law begins within the framework of property rights and transaction costs theories. The Chicago school has been the most prominent group of economists. Austrian school and New institutional school compete with Chicago school in applying different methods of economic analysis on law. Chicago approach is based on assumptions of rational economic behaviour and stable preferences. In the centre of Chicago paradigm lies Richard Posner's efficiency thesis predicting that law rules develop in efficient ways. Austrian school criticizes Chicago school positivism from the perspectives of methodological subjectivism.

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Article provided by University of Economics, Prague in its journal Politická ekonomie.

Volume (Year): 2004 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 519-531

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Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpol:v:2004:y:2004:i:4:id:474:p:519-531
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