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Economic Efficiency in Law and Economics
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Economic Efficiency in Law and Economics

9781840646115 Edward Elgar Publishing
Richard O. Zerbe, Daniel J. Evans Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Director, Benefit–Cost Analysis Center, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Washington, US
Publication Date: 2002 ISBN: 978 1 84064 611 5 Extent: 336 pp
In this path-breaking book, Richard Zerbe introduces a new way to think about the concept of economic efficiency that is both consistent with its historical derivation and more useful than concepts currently used. He establishes an expanded version of Kaldor–Hicks efficiency as an axiomatic system that performs the following tasks: the new approach obviates certain technical and ethical criticisms that have been made of economic efficiency; it answers critics of efficiency; it allows an expanded range for efficiency analysis; it establishes the conditions under which economists can reasonably say that some state of the world is inefficient. He then applies the new analysis to a number of hard and fascinating cases, including the economics of duelling, cannibalism and rape. He develops a new theory of common law efficiency and indicates the circumstances under which the common law will be inefficient.

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In this path-breaking book, Richard Zerbe introduces a new way to think about the concept of economic efficiency that is both consistent with its historical derivation and more useful than concepts currently used. He establishes an expanded version of Kaldor–Hicks efficiency as an axiomatic system that performs the following tasks: the new approach obviates certain technical and ethical criticisms that have been made of economic efficiency; it answers critics of efficiency; it allows an expanded range for efficiency analysis; it establishes the conditions under which economists can reasonably say that some state of the world is inefficient. He then applies the new analysis to a number of hard and fascinating cases, including the economics of duelling, cannibalism and rape. He develops a new theory of common law efficiency and indicates the circumstances under which the common law will be inefficient.

The book will be of great interest to scholars, students, and practitioners interested in the concept of economic efficiency and how it should be applied to law and economics.
Critical Acclaim
‘Economic Efficiency in Law and Economics is an interesting and worthwhile book.’
– Megan Richardson, Economic Record

‘Zerbe’s new book is high-powered and potentially important.’
– Bill Goodman, Monthly Labor Review
Contents
Contents: 1. History of the Concept of Economic Efficiency 2. The Foundation: A New Measure for Economic Efficiency 3. The Nature of Economic Efficiency 4. The Nature of Inefficiency 5. Rights and the Relationship of Law to Efficiency 6. The Problem of Missing Values in Normative Law and Economic Analysis 7. The Failure of Market Failure 8. Of Distributive Justice and Economic Efficiency: An Integrated Theory of the Common Law 9. The Efficiency of the Common Law: An Economic Analysis of Dueling, Cannibalism, the Gold Rush, Racism, and Antitrust Law 10. A Recapitulation References Index
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