The third edition of Economic Foundations of Law introduces readers to the economic analysis of the major areas of the law: property law, torts, contracts, criminal law, civil procedure, corporation law and financial markets, taxation, and labor law. No prior knowledge of law is required, but a prior course in the principles of microeconomics would be quite helpful.

The text opens with a review of the basic principles of price theory and an overview of the legal system, to ensure readers are equipped with the tools necessary for economic analysis of the law. The third edition provides expanded or new coverage of key topics including intellectual property law, how the creation of new forms of property rights affects the conservation of species such as elephants and fish, controversies involving liability for medical malpractice and class actions, the transformation of personal injury litigation by the intervention of insurance companies as plaintiffs, how to predict the outcome of litigation with game theory, an economic analysis of the ownership and use of guns, bankruptcy law, and the economics of bank regulation.

Comprehensive and well-written, this text is a compelling introduction to law and economics that is accessible to both economics and law students.

chapter 1|33 pages

Principles of microeconomics (I)

chapter 2|21 pages

Principles of microeconomics (II)

chapter 3|14 pages

Introduction to the legal system

chapter 4|33 pages

Property law

chapter 5|24 pages

Problems of incomplete property rights

chapter 6|7 pages

Informal creation of property rights

chapter 7|25 pages

The law of contracts

chapter 8|31 pages


chapter 9|41 pages

The economics of litigation

chapter 10|31 pages

Criminal law

chapter 11|18 pages

Corporations and financial markets

chapter 12|18 pages


chapter 13|19 pages

Labor law