Law and economics has become one of the most influential schools of legal thought in the United States and is quickly expanding throughout the world. Emerging in the sixties—at least in its modern form—with early influential articles by Ronald Coase, Guido Calabresi, and Gary Becker, law and economics scholars have developed a deep and systematic theory that has been applied to nearly all of the major fields of law. By isolating the key variables that allow understanding of a legal problem in a simple manner, law and economics provides us with useful insights about the influence of law on behavior. Furthermore, the analytical framework of welfare economics allows evaluating legal outcomes from the perspective of a clear benchmark of social welfare, in contrast to softer, and often more vague, benchmarks that used to dominate legal policy debates before the rise of the economic analysis of law.
In this volume, my former student Omar Vásquez Duque delivers a systematic review of the application of economic analysis to the central legal rules and institutions. In less than two-hundred pages, he introduces the field and describes the economic analysis of property law, contract law, tort law, criminal law, and procedural law. Omar not only portrays the traditional theory concisely and comprehensively but also refers to more recent developments, such as the application of behavioral economics to the study of the effect of legal rules on people’s conduct. I predict that this book will become an essential contribution to the study of law and economics in the Spanish-speaking world.
A. Mitchell Polinsky
Other Publications by:
Omar Patricio Vasquez DuqueView Publications