Book presents concepts for understanding economic analysis of law
The FGV Rio de Janeiro Law School has just launched a book called “Economic Analysis of Law Course.” Written by professors Antonio Maristrello Porto and Nuno Garoupa, and published by Gen/Atlas, this systematic book presents law students and legal professionals with basic principles involving economic analysis of law, as well as key concepts for understanding economic analysis of law in Brazil’s context. The book is divided into 11 chapters, which are grouped into three main parts.
The first part, covering the book’s first three chapters, introduces readers to the relationship between law and economics. It begins with a more macroeconomic approach, placing the theme of law within the broader perspective of the challenge of promoting economic growth. It then proceeds to present the main microeconomic tools that, among other things, help to set goals in terms of collective well-being through legal norms. Ending this first part, the authors present and analyze so-called market failure – the main economic argument for why it is not always ideal from a collective point of view to let markets operate freely, without any state regulation.
The second part of the book, covering chapters 4 to 6, presents readers with the main methodological instruments used in theoretical and empirical studies in the area of economic analysis of law. This part begins with the presentation of concepts and instruments of statistical inference, moves forward in Chapter 5 with the foundations of game theory, and ends in Chapter 6 with a comprehensive analysis of behavioral economics, a fundamental but relatively new field, which relaxes some of neoclassical economic theory’s hypothesis of rationality, which can sometimes be excessively strict.
In the third and final part of the book, covering chapters 7 to 11, Porto and Garoupa dive into the economic analysis of different areas of law. They start with the two areas that scholars of law and economics have spent the most time on: property law (Chapter 7) and contract law (Chapter 8). Chapter 7, in particular, introduces some elements of new institutionalism, which underpin much of economic analysis of law, including the Coase theorem and the concept of transaction costs.
In chapters 9 to 11, the authors explore some areas closer to the frontier of economic analysis of law, using the instruments and analyses presented before to analyze the subjects of non-contractual civil liability, criminal liability and litigation, respectively. Here they combine more conceptual analysis and the use of the economic concepts seen before with an examination of Brazilian legal instruments, making their analysis even more relevant to Brazil’s legal professionals.
For more information about the book, click here.