Common Law and Economic Efficiency

Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Forthcoming.

48 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2021

See all articles by Todd J. Zywicki

Todd J. Zywicki

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

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College; American Institute for Economic Research

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Date Written: June 20, 2012

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: neoclassical arguments, Austrian arguments, Hayek, common law judges, wealth distribution

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

Suggested Citation

Zywicki, Todd J. and Stringham, Edward Peter, Common Law and Economic Efficiency (June 20, 2012). Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Forthcoming., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2088200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2088200

Todd J. Zywicki (Contact Author)

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

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PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

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Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College ( email )

Hartford, CT 06106
United States

American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

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Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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