Law can be viewed as a body of rules and legal sanctions that channel behavior in socially desirable directions — for example, by encouraging individuals to take proper precautions to prevent accidents or by discouraging competitors from colluding to raise prices. The incentives created by the legal system are thus a natural subject of study by economists. Moreover, given the importance of law to the welfare of societies, the economic analysis of law merits prominent treatment as a subdiscipline of economics. Our hope is that this two volume Handbook will foster the study of the legal system by economists.

Key Features

*The two volumes form a comprehensive and accessible survey of the current state of the field. *Chapters prepared by leading specialists of the area. *Summarizes received results as well as new developments.


Advanced graduate students, researchers and professionals interested in Economics, Law and their interaction.

Table of Contents

1. Contract Law Benjamin Hermalin (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley) Avery Katz (Columbia Law School) Richard Craswell (Stanford Law School) 2. Liability for Accidents Steven Shavell (Harvard Law School) 3. Property Law Dean Lueck (Department of Economics, University of Arizona) Thomas Miceli (Department of Economics, University of Connecticut) 4. Litigation Kathryn Spier (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) 5. Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System Daniel Kessler (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University) Daniel Rubinfeld (School of Law and Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley) 6. Public Enforcement of Law A. Mitchell Polinsky (Stanford Law School) Steven Shavell (Harvard Law School) 7. Empirical Study of Criminal Punishment Steven Levitt (Department of Economics, University of Chicago) Thomas Miles (University of Chicago Law School) 8. Environmental Law Richard Revesz (School of Law, New York University) Robert Stavins (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) 9. Regulation of Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks W. Kip Viscusi (School of Law & Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University) 10. Taxation Louis Kaplow (Harvard Law School) 11. International Law Alan O. Sykes (Stanford Law School)


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© 2007
North Holland
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About the editors

A. Mitchell Polinsky

Affiliations and Expertise

Stanford University, CA, U.S.A.

Steven Shavell

Affiliations and Expertise

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.