Economic Analysis of Law Term Paper by Research Group

Economic Analysis of Law
Examines the concept of the economic analysis of law, beginning with the writings of economist Jeremy Bentham.
# 26074 | 2,153 words | 12 sources | APA | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 25, 2003 in Law (General) , Economics (General)

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The field of economic analysis of law is said to have begun with Jeremy Bentham who systematically examined how actors would behave in the face of legal incentives and who evaluated outcomes with respect to a clearly stated measure of social welfare (utilitarianism). This paper examines economic analysis of law seeks to answer two basic questions about legal rules. Namely, what are the effects of legal rules on the behavior of relevant actors? And are these effects of legal rules socially desirable? In answering these positive and normative questions, the approach employed in economic analysis of law is that used in economic analysis generally. The behavior of individuals and firms is described assuming that they are forward looking and rational and the framework of welfare economics is adopted to assess social desirability.

From the Paper:

"But no matter how careful we might be considering the economic analysis of the situation there can be no presupposition of a truth vis--vis utilitarian ethics. If we consider that utilitarianism takes well being as the only goal for human activity, then we must identify it with happiness or desire-fulfillment. Instead, a theory of justice and rights ought to be considered important in its own right within economic ethics. Market-wise, whatever is in vogue is what will be implemented."

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Economic Analysis of Law (2003, April 25) Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

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"Economic Analysis of Law" 25 April 2003. Web. 18 April. 2024. <>