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The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Second Edition

The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Second Edition

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

This thoroughly updated and revised edition of a popular and authoritative reference work introduces the reader to the major concepts and leading contributors in the field of law and economics. The Companion features accessible, informative and provocative entries on all the significant issues, and breaks new ground by bringing together widely dispersed yet theoretically congruent ideas.

Chapter 14: Administrative Law and Economics

Edwin Woerdman

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


Jean-Michel Josselin and Alain Marciano The domain of administrative law and economics The use of economics to understand administrative law may not be as widespread as in other areas of legal doctrine and practice. Public behaviours are none the less unambiguously susceptible to economic investigation. The objective here is to provide some general guidance as to how political economy can be used to understand the legal dimension of the state. In this respect, the domain of administrative law and economics consists of two related approaches. The first one deals with both the efficiency and the control of administration, in a given constitutional framework. Two levels of objectives can be set therein. On the one hand, coherence of administrative behaviours and actions must be assured with regard to the goals of the state and the protection of private rights. The prominent feature is rent seeking. On the other hand, internal control is necessary at the level of the administrative agencies themselves. Bureaucratic behaviours must be contained by proper incentive mechanisms. This public choice perspective amounts to an evaluation of the outcomes of the behaviour of the administration, and can be summarized by the question: how to judge the actions of the state? In this chapter, we shall not deal with this issue which, as is exemplified by the growing public choice literature dedicated to it, clearly requires a distinctive (notwithstanding inevitable overlap) treatment. This entry rather belongs to the second type of approach which considers the general constitutional framework...

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