Economic Approaches to Law
Module Code: LADD040S7
‘The most interesting aspect of the law and economics movement has been its aspiration to place the study of law on a scientific basis, with coherent theory, precise hypotheses deduced from theory, and empirical tests of hypotheses. Law is a social institution of enormous antiquity and importance, and I can see no reason why it should not be amenable to scientific study’ (Richard Posner, 1989)
Critically assess this statement with specific reference to the material covered in this course.
Lecturer: Dr Amanda Perry-Kessari
Academic Year: 2010/11
Word Count: 4260 (excluding titles, footnotes and bibliography)
Law and economics movement will soon attain its half a century dominance in legal paradigm and scientific theory. The last forty years have seen its spreading beyond traditional stream of explicit market. The economics concepts have been used to explain vividly legal issues, for both market and nonmarket. Nowadays, we witness economics theory of property rights, of corporates, of politics, of crime and punishment, and privacy laws. Some economists who think that economics is just about the market and must not mingle with nonmarket behaviour shrugged this notion. Such thoughts have been misconception of language, because the term “marginal cost” is just a concept, rigorous and unambiguous.It is argued that economics is not what economists do, and cannot only be said to be the science of rational choice.
The most exciting part of the law and economics movement is that it applies social science methods – generating testable hypotheses based on a theory and the theory tested by empirical data – to the study of law. Using social science methods, the law and economics provides a more rigorous, testable way of studying and understanding the law.The concept of most legal research and methodology uses paradigmatic thinking. The phrase “paradigm... [continues]
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