Economic Analysis of the General Structure of the Law

20 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2003  

Steven Shavell

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2003

Abstract

This paper contains a chapter on the general structure of the law from a forthcoming book, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law (Harvard University Press, 2003). In this chapter, I consider basic features of the legal system, including whether the law directly constrains behavior or channels it by the threat of sanctions, and whether the law is brought into play by private legal action or involves public enforcement. I investigate the conditions under which one or another structure of law will be socially desirable, and I then discuss tort, contract, criminal law, and several other areas of law in the light of the analysis of the optimal structure of the law.

JEL Classification: D00, D6, D8, K00, H00

Suggested Citation

Shavell, Steven, Economic Analysis of the General Structure of the Law (February 2003). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 408. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=383443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.383443

Steven Shavell (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,097
Rank
13,730
Abstract Views
4,197