Economics of Ancient Law

30 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2010

Date Written: August 17, 2010


The economic analysis of ancient law assumes that neither human nature nor the fundamental problems of economic organization were substantially different in ancient times than they are today. Given those assumptions, ancient social organization, including ancient law, can be analysed in economic terms. This introduction to a volume of readings on the economic analysis of ancient law traces the development of the field from the foundational contributions of Bentham, Marx, Weber and Maine, through the work of Morris Silver, and on to contemporary scholars including, among others, Robert Aumann, Robert Ellickson and Charles DaA. Thorland, Henry Hansmann, Reinier Kraakman, and Richard Squire, Saul Levmore, Francesco Parisi, and Richard Posner.

Suggested Citation

Miller, Geoffrey P., Economics of Ancient Law (August 17, 2010). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-36, Available at SSRN: or

Geoffrey P. Miller (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

Center for the Study of Central Banks
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New York, NY 10012-1099
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