Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Common Law and Economic Efficiency

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LAW AND ECONOMICS, Francesco Parisi, Richard Posner, eds., 2010

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-43

48 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2010  

Todd J. Zywicki

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College

Date Written: September 8, 2010

Abstract

This essay reviews the origins and development of the debate over the “efficiency of the common law hypothesis.” The essay begins with the earliest explanation for the observed tendency of the common law as proffered by Richard Posner. It then examines the Rubin-Priest and contemporary models of demand-side models of common law efficiency and critiques thereof. It then turns to a supply-side analysis of the efficiency of the common law hypothesis, focusing on the nature of the constraints imposed on common law judges and changes in those constraints over time. This essay also examines public choice analysis of the efficiency of the common law and the Austrian economics critique of the standard neoclassical model of analysis.

Keywords: Aranson, Bailey, Buchanan, Claeys, Cooter, Cordato, demand side analysis, Hayek, Hicks, inefficiency, Kaldor, Kornhauser, Krier, legislation, Leoni, liability, O’Driscoll, Parisi, Priest, Pritchard, regulation, Rubin, spending, Stearns, tax, Terrebonne, Tullock, Wangenheim, wealth redistribution

JEL Classification: B20, B25, B53, K00, K40

Suggested Citation

Zywicki, Todd J. and Stringham, Edward Peter, Common Law and Economic Efficiency (September 8, 2010). ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LAW AND ECONOMICS, Francesco Parisi, Richard Posner, eds., 2010; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-43. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1673968

Todd J. Zywicki (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8091 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College ( email )

United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
763
Rank
25,883
Abstract Views
3,417