Law and Economics Literature

Looking for a quick overview?

A useful summary of Law and Economics by Paul Rubin can be found in an entry in the Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics accessible online at EconLib. In a few pages the summary describes law and economics and its application to property, contract law, tort law, and criminal law.

Foundations – the articles that launched a field of enquiry

Calabresi, Guido, & Douglas A. Melamed (1972). “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral”, 85 Harvard Law Review 1089

Becker, Gary (1968). “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach.” Journal of Political Economy 76, no. 2: 169–217.

Becker, Gary (1981). “Treatise on the Family”. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Coase , Ronald (1960). “The Problem of Social Cost”. Journal of Law & Economics, 3 (1): 1–44. doi:10.1086/466560

Coase, Ronald (1937). “The Nature of the Firm”. Economica 4 (16): 386–405. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.1937.tb00002.x      

Demsetz, H. (1967). “Towards a Theory of Property Rights”. American Economic Review 57(2) 347-59.

Grossman, Sanford and Hart, Oliver (1986) “The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration” Journal of Political Economy 94(4):691-719

Hart, Oliver (2017). “Incomplete Contracts and Control”. American Economic Review 107(7): 1731-1752

Hayek, Friedrich A. (1945). “The Use of Knowledge in Society”. American Economic Review 35(4), 519-530.

North, Douglass (1991). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge University Press.

Ostrom, Elinor (1990). Governing the Commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press.

Stigler, George J. (1975). The Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 209

Stigler, George J. (1961). “The Economics of Information,” Journal of Political Economy, 69(3), pp. 213–25

Simon, Herbert. (1951). Administrative behaviour: a story of decision processes in business organization. London: Macmillan.

Williamson, Oliver E. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies. The Free Press: New York.

Williamson, Oliver E. (1985). The Economic Institutions of Capitalism. The Free Press: New York.

Textbooks and other general literature

Bouckaert, Boudewijn and De Geest, Gerrit (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Law and Economics,

Baldwin, Robert, Martin Cave and Martin Lodge (2010). The Oxford Handbook of Regulation., Oxford University Press.

Cooter, Robert and Thomas Ulen (2016). Law and Economics, 6th edition. Berkeley Law Books. Book 2.

Epstein, Richard A. (1995). Simple Rules for a Complex World. Harvard University Press:

Epstein, Richard A. (1997). “Law and Economics: Its Glorious Past and Cloudy Future,” 64 University of Chicago Law Review 1167

Friedman, David D. (2000) Law’s Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Posner, Richard A. (2009) Economic analysis of law, 9th edition. New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Rubin, Paul H. “Law and Economics” in the Library of Economics and Liberty

Tadelis, Steven, & Oliver Williamson (2012). Transaction Cost Economics: or

Winter, Harold (2013). Trade-Offs: An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and Social Issues (2nd Ed.) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Viscusi, W. Kip, Joseph Harrington Jr. and David Sappington (2018). Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 5th edition. MIT Press.

Searching for something specific?

Try searching by topic, in Boudewijn and De Geest, Gerrit (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Law and Economics,