Law and Economics

The Oxford Handbook on The New Private Law (2020)

24 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2021

Date Written: December 18, 2020


Law and economics has had a significant impact on foundational private law subjects — property, contracts, and torts — as well as advanced private law areas. This chapter analyzes how law and economics influences private law and how New Private Law (NPL) is influencing law and economics.

After a brief introduction in Section I, Section II provides background on law and economics. Section III focuses on property, contracts, and torts. For each area, this section distinguishes three generations of scholarship in law and economics, discusses the major ideas that economic analysis has contributed to private law, and surveys contributions of the NPL. Section IV briefly discusses the impact of law and economics on advanced private law areas such as business associations, trusts and estates, and intellectual property. Section V concludes by focusing on future directions in NPL and economics, including recent scholarship that takes seriously both the law and the effects of law.

Keywords: law and economics, property, contracts, torts, cost-benefit analysis, transaction costs, information costs, incomplete contracts, deterrence, risk, moral hazard, litigation costs, agency costs, business associations, trusts and estates, intellectual property

JEL Classification: KOO, K10, K11, K12, K13

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Daniel B., Law and Economics (December 18, 2020). The Oxford Handbook on The New Private Law (2020), Available at SSRN: or

Daniel B. Kelly (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States
574-631-7690 (Phone)
574-631-8078 (Fax)

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