Advertisement

European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 65–76 | Cite as

Law, economics and Calabresi on the future of law and economics

  • Alain Marciano
  • Giovanni Battista RamelloEmail author
Article
  • 120 Downloads

Abstract

There exists a distinction between ‘law and economics’ and the ‘economic analysis of law’. The former, corresponding to Coase’s approach, consists in taking legal rules into account insofar as they influence economic activities. The latter, associated to Posner’s name, consists in using economics to analyze legal problems. Methodologically speaking, if one admits that the economic analysis of law consists in using economic tools to analyze legal problems, Calabresi’s own work must be classified as such. However, Calabresi has always insisted that his own approach differs from Posner’s economic analysis of law. In this paper, we take the opportunity of Calabresi’s new book—The Future of Law and Economics—to revisit Calabresi’s approach to law and economics. In his book, Calabresi explains that the economic analysis of law is unsatisfactory because economics is too narrow. He insists on the need to amplify economic analysis by: first, adopting a more realistic approach à la Coase; second, taking merit goods into account; and third, including individuals’ propensity to be altruistic. We analyze these three aspects and show that it leads to a certain ambiguity in terms of the distinction between ‘law and economics’ and the ‘economic analysis of law’.

Keywords

Buchanan Calabresi Coase Posner Economic analysis of law Law and economics Merit goods Altruism Political economy 

JEL Classification

A12 B2 B31 K0 

Notes

References

  1. Backhaus, J. G. (2017). Lawyers’ economics versus economic analysis of law: a critique of professor Posner’s “economic” approach to law by reference to a case concerning damages for loss of earning capacity. European Journal of Law and Economics, 43, 517–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buchanan, J. M. (1959). Positive economics, welfare economics, and political economy. Journal of Law and Economics, 2(Oct), 124–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Calabresi, G., & Bobbit, P. (1978). Tragic choices. New York: Norton and Co.Google Scholar
  4. Calabresi, G. (2016). The future of law and economics. Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Calabresi, G., & Melamed, A. D. (1978). Property rules, liability rules, and inalienability: One view of the cathedral. Harvard Law Review, 85(6), 1089–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Candela, R. A., & Geloso, V. J. (2018). The lightship in economics. Public Choice, 176(3–4), 479–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coase, R. H. (1974). Te Lighthouse in Economics. Journal of Legal Studies, 17(2), 357–376.Google Scholar
  8. Coase, R. H. (1978). Economics and contiguous discipline. Journal of Legal Studies, 7(2), 201–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coase, R. H. (1992). The institutional structure of production. American Economic Review, 82, 713–719.Google Scholar
  10. Coase, R. H. (1996). Law and economics and A. W. Brian Simpson. Journal of Legal Studies, 25(1), 103–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Coase, R. H. (1998). The new institutional economics. American Economic Review, 88, 72–74.Google Scholar
  12. Epstein, R. A., Becker, G. S., Coase, R. H., Miller, M. H., & Posner, R. A. (1997). The roundtable discussion. University of Chicago Law Review, 64(4), 1132–1165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harnay, S., & Marciano, A. (2009). Posner, economics and the law: From ‘law and economics’ to an economic analysis of law. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 31(2), 215–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hyde, L. (1983). The gift. NY: Vintage Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kirchgässner, G. (2017). Soft paternalism, merit goods and normative individualism. European Journal of Law and Economics, 43, 125–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kornhauser, L. (2011). The economic analysis of law, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/legal-econanalysis/. Accessed 6 June 2019.
  17. Leeson, P. T. (2019). Do we need behavioral economics to explain law?. European Journal of Law and Economics (this issue)Google Scholar
  18. Marciano, A. (2012). Guido Calabresi’s economic analysis of law, Coase and the Coase theorem. International Review of Law and Economics, 32, 110–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marciano, A. (2016). Economic analysis of law. In A. Marciano & G. Ramello (Eds.), Encyclopedia of law and economics. New York, NY: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_598-1.Google Scholar
  20. Marciano, A. (2018). Ronald H. Coase (1910–2013). In R. A. Cord (Ed.), The Palgrave companion to LSE economics (pp. 555–579). Palgrave.Google Scholar
  21. Marciano, A., & Ramello, G. B. (2014). Consent, choice and Guido Calabresi’s heterodox economic analysis of law. Law and Contemporary Problems, 77(2), 97–116.Google Scholar
  22. Marciano, A., & Ramello, G. B. (2018). Calabresi: Heterodox economic analysis of law. In A. Marciano & G. Ramello (Eds.), Encyclopedia of law and economics. New York, NY: Springer.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_726-1.Google Scholar
  23. Musgrave, R. A. (1957). A multiple theory of budget determination. FinanzArchiv, New Series, 25(1), 33–43.Google Scholar
  24. Musgrave, R. A. (1959). The theory of public finance. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  25. Posner, R. A. (1975). The economic approach to law. Texas Law Review, 53(XX), 757–782.Google Scholar
  26. Radin, M. (2001). Contested commodities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Zamir, E. (2017). Tastes, values, and the future of law and economics. Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, 16, 101–123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Università del Piemonte OrientaleAlessandriaItaly

Personalised recommendations