The Economic Analysis of Law - The Dominant Methodology for Legal Research?!
40 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2007
Date Written: 15/8/2007
The Economic Analysis of Law will soon celebrate half a century. In recent decades it has been emerging as the dominant theoretical paradigm and scientific methodology for legal academia, and it is gradually capturing various segments of the legal practice as well. Law and Economics was also acknowledged recently as a sub-field of the science of economics and some argue that law became one of the most important areas of applied economics. Although for three decades Law and Economics prospered mainly in North America, in the last decades it is rapidly increasing also in Europe and elsewhere.
This short essay focuses not on the content of Law and Economics but on its context. It places Law and Economics within a grand map of legal theories, adopting Thomas Kuhn theory of the evolution of science, and it offers a very broad definition of Law and Economics vis-à-vis the methodology of legal research, rather than its subject matters. Subsequently, the paper points to several shortcomings of the majority of contemporary Law and Economics literature and to the need for changes in other areas to adapt Law and Economics to the 21st century. In this context, two major points are emphasized: the role of technology within the L&E methodology and globalization as an important factor in the positive and normative analysis of law.
Keywords: law and economics, legal research, legal methodology, legal theory, technology, globalization
JEL Classification: A1, B4, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation