Explaining the Importance of Public Choice for Law

19 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2010 Last revised: 30 Jun 2010

See all articles by D. Daniel Sokol

D. Daniel Sokol

USC Gould School of Law; USC Marshall School of Business


The next generation of government officials, business leaders and members of civil society likely will draw from the current pool of law school students. These students often lack a foundation of the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to understand law’s interplay with government. This highlights the importance of public choice analysis. By framing issues through a public choice lens, these students will learn the dynamics of effective decision-making within various institutional settings. Filling the void of how to explain the decision-making process of institutional actors in legal settings is Public Choice Concepts and Applications in Law by Maxwell Stearns and Todd Zywicki.

Because of its analytic depth, Public Choice Concepts is likely to be recognized as the leading work on the subject for some time. Stearns and Zywicki’s contribution to public choice scholarship is important and compelling. Part I of this review addresses common misperceptions about public choice, provides a descriptive summary of the book, explains its important implications, and suggests some limitations. Part II takes issue with Stearns and Zywicki on one important ground - their failure to adequately consider public choice issues in an international context. This Part describes how an understanding of public choice can offer insights into international antitrust.

Keywords: public choice, antitrust, law and economics

JEL Classification: D70, K00, K21, L40

Suggested Citation

Sokol, D. Daniel, Explaining the Importance of Public Choice for Law. Michigan Law Review, Vol. 109, 2011, University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 2011-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1624956

D. Daniel Sokol (Contact Author)

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

USC Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

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