Economic Analysis of International Law

Economic Analysis of International Law

Edited by Eugene Kontorovich and Francesco Parisi

Through original and incisive contributions from leading scholars, this book applies economics and other rational choice methods to understanding public international law. The chapters cover a range of topics, from the sources of international law to means of enforcement. The application of economic analysis to public international law is still in its early stages, and Economic Analysis of International Law provides a useful overview, as well as setting directions for new research.


Eugene Kontorovich and Francesco Parisi

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, law and economics, public international law


The contributions to this volume provide a birds-eye view on some fundamental elements of international law from the perspective of economics. International law lagged behind compared to other areas of law in benefiting from the influence of economic analysis of law. As Parisi and Pi (Chapter 4) point out, one possible explanation for the delayed attention of law and economics scholars to international law is given by the fact that international law was perceived to be governed by informal rules and enforcement mechanisms that resisted formal economic analysis. This volume will hopefully reveal that, contrary to this perception, economics can also successfully illuminate the understanding of informal mechanisms such as those of international law. In this vein, this volume aims at providing a pathfinder through the recent literature and, in pushing the economic understanding of international law, identifying new areas and issues for research in international law and economics.