Debating Law's Irrelevance: Legal Scholarship and the Coase Theorem in the 1960s
Steven G. Medema
University of Colorado Denver - Department of Economics
August 6, 2014
Texas A&M Law Review 2 (December 2014).
This paper examines the diffusion of Coase’s negotiation result -- now better known as the 'Coase theorem' -- in the legal literature during the 1960s, with particular attention paid to the challenge that this result posed for received legal thinking, how the it related to far older attempts to bring economic thinking to bear on the law, how legal scholars utilized it in their analysis, and how the treatment of this result by legal scholars compares to that accorded it by economists during this formative stage in the Coase theorem’s history. What will emerge, in the end, is an enhanced understanding of how the Coase theorem came to have a place in legal scholarship, as well as some additional insight into this neglected epoch in the history of the economic analysis of law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 70
Keywords: Coase theorem, law and economics
JEL Classification: K00, B2
Date posted: December 13, 2012 ; Last revised: August 13, 2014