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Look Inside Economic Foundations of Law and Organization

Economic Foundations of Law and Organization

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  • Date Published: June 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521685245

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About the Authors
  • This book serves as a compact introduction to the economic analysis of law and organization. At the same time it covers a broad spectrum of issues. It is aimed at undergraduate economics students who are interested in law and organization, law students who want to know the economic basis for the law, and students in business and public policy schools who want to understand the economic approach to law and organization. The book covers such diverse topics as bankruptcy rules, corporate law, sports rules, the organization of Congress, federalism, intellectual property, crime, accident law, and insurance. Unlike other texts on the economic analysis of law, this text is not organized by legal categories but by economic theory. The purpose of the book is to develop economic intuition and theory to a sufficient degree so that one can apply the ideas to a variety of areas in law and organization.

    • Most student-friendly, accessible, model-driven text on law, economics, and business in the market
    • Has 74 boxed examples, review questions, clear organization, suggested readings
    • Author has been refining text in classroom for over 20 years
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A huge amount of law, as it relates both to individual rights and social organization, can be simply and effectively explained by the consistent application of a few basic economic concepts. In this volume, Don Wittman deftly uses two key tools - an accurate definition of social welfare and the critical role of transaction costs - —to show the common threads that unite such disparate legal fields as bankruptcy, contracts, land use planning, and torts. His useful, rigorous and readable introduction to the principles of economics lays the groundwork for further study at the intersection of law and social organizations." - Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago

    "Wittman has written an economists' law and economics text. It is organized around economic, not legal, principles. It provides an economic analysis of legal and organizational issues. More importantly, it showcases the power and flexibility of economic analysis in unusual and interesting settings." - Paul H. Rubin, Emory University

    "Readers will welcome the sophistication of this book on the new and growing subject of economics and law for its two distinctive qualities. First, it is organized around themes of economic theory. This allows the reader to gain a kind of insight that would not be possible were the book organized in the more usual way, according to legal subject matter. Second, the book covers more than purely legal subject matter -– it discusses important aspects of organizations and their governance. I enthusiastically recommend the book to students and scholars alike." - Steven Shavell, Harvard Law School

    "Wittman takes a fresh approach to law and economics, rethinking the traditional subject areas and covering many new ones." - Michelle J. White, University of California, San Diego

    "Wittman has succeeded in writing a textbook that distinguishes itself from the competition in its topical orientation and its organizational structure.... I would recommend this book to instructors who teach law-and-economics to general economics majors (or as a prelude to a more advanced law-and-economics course), or, as Wittman suggests in his introduction, a supplement to intermediate microeconomics courses focusing on the Coase Theorem and transaction costs." - Eastern Economic Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521685245
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 2 tables 74 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Economic Fundamentals - Rationality and Efficiency:
    2. Rational behavior, preferences and prices
    3. Pareto optimally versus utilitarianism
    4. Cost-benefit analysis
    Part II. Transaction Costs and the Coasean Revolution:
    5. Transaction costs
    6. Fencing in and fencing out
    7. Coase versus Pigou
    Part III. Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Law:
    8. How to think like an economist: two hawks and a fence
    9. Smoking regulations: market solutions
    10. Rules of thumb: sports and driving rules
    Part IV. Rights:
    11. The protection of entitlements
    12. Property rights or communal rights in knowledge?
    13. Liability for harm or restitution for benefit
    14. Takings: should there be compensation for regulation
    Part V. Torts and Crimes: Liability Rules and Punishments:
    15. Cost minimization and the role of liability rules
    16. Negligence rules
    17. Crime and criminal law
    Part VI. The Role of Sequence:
    18. Mitigation of damages and last clear chance
    19. The Good Samaritan rule
    20. The role of being first in allocating entitlements
    Part VII. Contracts and Breach of Contract:
    21. Default rules and breach of contract
    22. When is a handshake a contract and when is a contract not a contract
    23. Marriage as contract: family law
    Part VIII. Harms Arising Between Contracting Parties:
    24. Exploding coke bottles
    25. The role of asymmetric information
    26. Consumers and producers cause damage: lawnmowers
    Part IX. Insurance and the Law:
    27. The market for insurance
    28. Royalties for artists and insurance for investors
    29. Regulating automobile insurance
    30. Bankruptcy
    31. Deposit insurance and banking crises
    Part X. Governance and Organization:
    32. The governance of organization
    33. Corporate law and agency problems
    34. Insider trading
    35. Organizational response to opportunism
    36. The organization of legislatures
    37. Federalism
    38. The internal organization of the family
    Part XI. Bargaining in the Shadow of a Trial:
    39. Settlement of cases
    Table of cases.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Economics of the Common Law
    • Gov Regulation of Business
    • Mass Media Management
  • Author

    Donald Wittman, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Donald Wittman is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He previously taught at the University of Chicago. Professor Wittman's book The Myth of Democratic Failure (1995) won the American Political Science Association award for the best title in political economy in the years 1994–6. He is coeditor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Political Economy. Professor Wittman's research has appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law and Economics, and Journal of Public Economics. His research has been supported by various National Science Foundation programs.

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