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Free Markets Under Seige

117 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2005  

Richard A. Epstein

New York University School of Law; Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; University of Chicago - Law School

Abstract

In this paper, Richard A. Epstein, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, explains how there are substantial gains to be made from countries getting 'easy' policy decisions correct. Societies collapse and become impoverished when they do not accept the basic principles of freedom to contract and competition. Even in the developed world these principles have not been accepted in key areas such as agricultural and labour markets. Significant welfare gains could be achieved from liberalisation in both areas.

Epstein explains how liberal economists, politicians and civil servants often spend much time discussing 'difficult' cases. While these issues may be important to particular groups in society, the implications of getting 'difficult' cases wrong is not serious. Thus policy-makers and their advisers, Epstein says, would do well to concentrate on the 'easy' cases.

In his study, Professor Epstein uses evidence and analysis derived from the disciplines of both law and economics. Professor Geoffrey E. Wood provides a commentary that elucidates Epstein's argument and shows how it can be further applied to policy issues relevant to the UK.

Keywords: law and economics, institutional economics

JEL Classification: A10, A11, K00, K20, K30

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Richard A., Free Markets Under Seige. IEA Occasional Paper No. 132. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=677382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.677382

Richard Epstein (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
United States
(212) 992-8858 (Phone)
(212) 995-4894 (Fax)

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-9563 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

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