Introduction 3 1. What Does Economics Have to Do with Law? 8 2. Efficiency and All that 18 3. What's Wrong with the World, Part 1 28 4. What's Wrong with the World, Part 2 36 5. Defining and Enforcing Rights: Property, Liability, and Spaghetti 47 6. Of Burning Houses and Exploding Coke Bottles 63 7. Coin Flips and Car Crashes: Ex Post versus Ex Ante 74 8. Gaines, Bargains, Bluffs, and Other Really Hard Stuff 84 9. As Much as Your Life Is Worth 95 Intermezzo. The American Legal System in Brief 103 10. Mine, Throe, and Ours: The Economics of Property Law 112 11. Clouds and Barbed Wire: The Economics of Intellectual Property 128 12. The Economics of Contract 145 13. Marriage, Sex, and Babies 171 14. Tort Law 189 15. Criminal Law 223 16. Antitrust 244 17. Other Paths 263 18. The Crime/Tort Puzzle 281 19. Is the Common Law Efficient? 297 Epilogue 309 Index 319
David Friedman, a first-rate economist with a good deal of experience in applying economics to the law, has written a lucid, imaginative, entertaining, opinionated, and, on balance, a very fine introduction to the application of economics to law. The book is wide-ranging in scope, at once simple and highly sophisticated, consistently provocative, an excellent read, and a notable contribution to an exciting field of interdisciplinary studies. -- Richard A. Posner, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit David Friedman explains in clear and accessible language what basic economic theory adds to the understanding of law, and how simple concepts of rationality, value, and transaction costs can go a long way to bring out the hidden unity among various diverse branches of law. Whether one speaks of the complexities of marginal deterrence, the resolution of disputes between farmers and railroads, or the social functions of copyright and patent law, Friedman's book provides the outsider to the field with a comprehensive but accessible account of his legal subject matter. -- Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago
David D. Friedman is Professor of Law at the University of Santa Clara School of Law. He holds a Ph. D. in physics from the University of Chicago and is the author of, among other books, Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life and The Machinery of Freedom.
"An interesting and lively introduction to the economic analysis of law... It lays out the principles and values of economic analysis of law, and then proceeds to illustrate and defend that approach in a lively and competent manner. It may not convince every reader that economics provide the key to understanding law, but it makes the case competently and energetically."--Joseph L. Smith, The Law and Politics Book Review "A thoroughly entertaining, creative, and provocative addition to the law and economics literature."--Choice "David Friedman is lively, cheerful, and a bit of a tease... Friedman's book is, in the best sense of the word, extremely dense... At the same time, he is cautious and does not try to prove too much. The evidence he provides is impressive and impressively presented."--John Griffith, Times Literary Supplement "[Friedman] explains what economics has to do with law and why it matters... Applying economics to law matters because it yields efficient outcomes. In a world of finite resources and a world in which the political process controls the distribution scheme, increasing the size of the societal pie will increase the size of the slice we all can expect."--Dennis J. Callahan, The Federal Lawyer