Critiques of Law and Economics

20 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015

See all articles by David M. Driesen

David M. Driesen

Syracuse University College of Law

Robin Paul Malloy

Syracuse University College of Law

Date Written: March 2, 2015


This chapter summarizes leading critiques of law and economics. For the most part, we put aside objections to particular applications of law and economics to distinct fields of law. We focus on rather general criticisms that properly apply to widely shared core commitments within the field of law and economics. We have grouped these critiques into three categories. We first address concerns about the normative value of economic efficiency as a leading goal for law. We next address methodological criticisms, which often call into question the coherence of the allocative efficiency concept. Finally, we discuss the criticisms of law and microeconomics from the perspective of rhetoric and interpretation theory.

Keywords: Law and economics, efficiency, economic methodology, cost and benefit, Kaldo-Hicks, wealth maximization, norms

JEL Classification: A1, A10, A11, A12, A13, A14, A19, K, K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Driesen, David M. and Malloy, Robin Paul, Critiques of Law and Economics (March 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

David M. Driesen

Syracuse University College of Law ( email )

Dineen Hall
950 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY, NY 13244
United States
315-443-4218 (Phone)
315-443-4141 (Fax)


Robin Paul Malloy (Contact Author)

Syracuse University College of Law ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States
315-443-3559 (Phone)
315-443-4141 (Fax)

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