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Edward Elgar Publishing
The Origins of Law and Economics: Essays by the Founding Fathers

The Origins of Law and Economics: Essays by the Founding Fathers

by Francesco Parisi, Charles K. RowleyFrancesco Parisi


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This unique collection of largely unpublished papers brings together the founding fathers of law and economics to provide their own views on the origins and intellectual history of the field. Law and economics emerged as a separate field of scholarship during the early 1960s, fueled by two seminal papers, one by Ronald Coase and one by Guido Calabresi. The ideas generated by scholars researching in the field have deeply influenced the major disciplines of economics and the law.

These 16 essays (including three by Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences) provide an impressive blend of differing experiences and varying perspectives, reflecting on the intellectual foundations of the field, its early struggles for recognition, and its remarkable advance during the last four decades of the twentieth century, and into the twenty-first. The essays clearly outline, and contribute new insights into, all of the central issues of this still vibrant research programme. A unifying theme of the book is the central importance attached by each scholar to scientific analysis, rather than to any particular ideology or dogma.

This book provides an absorbing intellectual history of law and economics, and will be a fascinating read for academics and researchers with an interest in law and economics, the history of economic thought, public choice and public policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847203205
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication date: 04/07/2007
Series: The Locke Institute Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Edited by Francesco Parisi, Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School, US and Professor of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy and the late Charles K. Rowley, former General Director, The Locke Institute, Duncan Black Professor of Economics and Director, Program in Economics, Politics and the Law, James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy, George Mason University, US

Table of Contents



1. An Intellectual History of Law and Economics: 1739–2003

Charles K. Rowley

2. Methodological Debates in Law and Economics: The Changing Contours of a Discipline

Francesco Parisi

3. The Fire of Truth: A Remembrance of Law and Economics at Chicago, 1932–1970

Edmund W. Kitch


4. The Economics Way of Looking at Behavior

Gary S. Becker

5. Cost, Choice, and Catallaxy: An Evaluation of Two Related but Divergent Virginia Paradigms

James M. Buchanan

6. The Pointlessness of Pareto: Carrying Coase Further

Guido Calabresi

7. The Relevance of Transaction Costs in the Economic Analysis of Law

Ronald H. Coase

8. The Confluence of Justice and Efficiency in the Economic Analysis of Law

Robert D. Cooter

9. Toward a Theory of Property Rights II: The Competition Between Private and Collective Ownership

Harold Demsetz

10. The Economist in Spite of Himself

Richard A. Epstein

11. The Art of Law and Economics: An Autobiographical Essay

William M. Landes

12. How Law and Economics was Marketed in a Hostile World: A Very Personal History

Henry G. Manne

13. The Law and Economics Movement: From Bentham to Becker

Richard A. Posner

14. The Rise of Law and Economics: A Memoir of the Early Years

George L. Priest

15. Why was the Common Law Efficient?

Paul H. Rubin

16. Law Versus Morality as Regulators of Conduct

Steven Shavell

17. Journeys Across the Divides

Michael J. Trebilcock

18. The Case Against the Common Law

Gordon Tullock

19. Why Law, Economics, and Organization?

Oliver E. Williamson


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