European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Law and economics and the role of explanation: A comment of Guido Calabresi,The Future of Law and Economics

  • Brian H. BixEmail author
Book Review


A central theme of Guido Calabresi’s The Future of Law and Economics is the way that economic analysis of law tends to reject as irrational whatever aspects of law or life do not fit its approach. Calabresi argues instead for a different approach he labels “law and economics,” which includes a greater willingness to modify economic analysis to allow it better to fit law and life. This Review Essay elaborates Calabresi’s argument, supplementing it with ideas from other sources, including Arthur Leff’s parallel response to economic analysis, “Some Realism about Nominalism,” and an earlier Calabresi article, “Supereditor or Translator.” Among the topics discussed are the role of historical/causal analysis, and the different sorts of explanation that we do expect, or should expect, from theories of law.


Guido Calabresi Arthur Allen Leff Law and economics Economic analysis of law Historical explanation 

JEL Classification

A12 B40 B50 B52 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law and PhilosophyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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