The Law Market: Chapter One

Erin O'Hara, Larry Ribstein, THE LAW MARKET, Oxford University Press, 2009

U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE08-039

21 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2008

See all articles by Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Florida State University - College of Law; Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

Larry E. Ribstein

University of Illinois College of Law (deceased); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: October 2008

Abstract

In their book, The Law Market, Erin O'Hara and Larry Ribstein show that states increasingly act as hawkers of legal rules in a market for law where people and firms often can shop for those regimes that they find most desirable. This market helps deal with a world in which increasing mobility strains traditional notions that laws operate within geographic borders. The law market also helps to discipline interest group attempts to pass laws that impose costs on society. Moreover, lawmakers have powerful incentives to enforce parties' bargains regarding the applicable law in order to attract or retain mobile firms and residents. On the other hand, the law market threatens governments' ability to protect its citizens from harmful private conduct.

The authors argue for an approach to enforcing choice-of-law contracts that can help maximize the beneficial effects of the law market while tempering its costs. Competition among lawmakers can be superior to sweeping federalization or harmonization of laws across states or nations. At the same time, this approach avoids the costs of subjecting firms and people to different laws in all of the places they travel and do business. The authors show how their insights and recommendations apply across a wide variety of legal problems, including corporate governance, securities, franchise, trust, property, marriage, living will, surrogacy, and general contract regulations. This book therefore provides a useful template for analyzing the role of law in an increasingly mobile world. It also points the way to preserving a role for states and other smaller jurisdictions against the onslaught of federal or global legislation.

Keywords: Choice of law; conflict of laws; federalism; jurisdictional competition

JEL Classification: H11, H41, H77, K10, K11, K12, K13, K20, K22, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

O'Hara O'Connor, Erin A. and Ribstein, Larry Edward, The Law Market: Chapter One (October 2008). Erin O'Hara, Larry Ribstein, THE LAW MARKET, Oxford University Press, 2009; U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE08-039. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1312066

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fsu.edu/our-faculty/deans/ohara-oconnor

Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

158 Goya Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028
United States

Larry Edward Ribstein (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law (deceased)

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
772
rank
30,446
Abstract Views
2,425
PlumX Metrics