Law and economics is among the most successful examples of the recent surge of applied economics into areas that economists once regarded as extraneous to economic analysis. Methodologically, law and economics applies the conceptual apparatus and empirical methods of economics in the study of law. Despite some resistance to the application of economics to nonmarket behavior, the important bonds between legal and economic analysis, as well as the social significance of the object of study, were in themselves a guarantee of success and fruitfulness for law and economics.

The Origins of Law and Economics

The origins of law and economics are traceable to Adam Smith's (1723–1790) discussion of the economic effects of legislation regulating economic activities and Jeremy Bentham's (1748–1832) theory of legislation and utilitarianism. Yet, ...

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