Altruism and Self-Interest from an Economic Analysis of Law Perspective: The Economic Analysis of Rescue Laws

22 Pages Posted: 29 May 2008

See all articles by Sophie Harnay

Sophie Harnay

Université Paris X Nanterre

Alain Marciano

Université de Montpellier; Université Montpellier I - Montpellier Recherche en Economie (Montpellier Research in Economics) MRE

Date Written: May 28, 2008

Abstract

The economic analysis of law mostly relies on the assumption of self-interested agents. Until the early 1970s, it is little concerned with the issues of rescue and helping. Now, an economic analysis of rescue laws appears with the works of Landes and Posner (1978). We show that the emergence and development of an economic analysis of rescue laws are the outcome of a long-term process that began in the 1950s with the passing of the first Good Samaritan legislations and finally results in articles published by Landes and Posner at the end of the 1970s. The article investigates the context that made the occurrence of such an economic analysis of law possible and the controversy that it fueled in the legal and economic fields. It also highlights the influence of the economic analysis of altruism on this particular field of law and economics.

Keywords: rescue laws, strict liability, negligence, altruism, Good Samaritan legislation

JEL Classification: K13, K4, B2

Suggested Citation

Harnay, Sophie and Marciano, Alain, Altruism and Self-Interest from an Economic Analysis of Law Perspective: The Economic Analysis of Rescue Laws (May 28, 2008). CLEA 2008 Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1138326

Sophie Harnay (Contact Author)

Université Paris X Nanterre ( email )

EconomiX, 200, avenue de la Republique
Nanterre, 92001
France

Alain Marciano

Université de Montpellier ( email )

Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 79606
Montpellier Cedex 1, F-34000
France

Université Montpellier I - Montpellier Recherche en Economie (Montpellier Research in Economics) MRE ( email )

Montpellier
France

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