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Economic Models of Law

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

This essay discusses the use of economic models for understanding law. It begins by describing the nature of economic models in general, and then turns to the specific application of economic models to law. The discussion distinguishes between “economic analysis of law”— which concerns the use of economic theory for describing the incentive effects of legal rules (positive analysis) and for prescribing better rules (normative analysis); and “law and economics”—which concerns the relationship between law and markets as alternative institutions for organizing economic activity. The essay concludes with some comments on the actual process of building economic models of law.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2014-13.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2014-13.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, 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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Lott, John R, Jr, 1987. "Should the Wealthy Be Able to "Buy Justice"?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1307-16, December.
  4. Sanchirico, Chris William, 2000. "Taxes versus Legal Rules as Instruments for Equity: A More Equitable View," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 797-820, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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