Table of Contents

The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, Second Edition

The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, Second Edition

Edited by William F. Shughart II, Laura Razzolini and Michael Reksulak

The Companion lays out a comprehensive history of the field and, in five additional parts, it explores public choice contributions to the study of the origins of the state, the organization of political activity, the analysis of decision-making in non-market institutions, the examination of tribal governance and to modeling and predicting the behavior of international organizations and transnational terrorism.

Chapter 21: Public choice and the law

Paul H. Rubin and Joanna M. Shepherd

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, public choice theory, politics and public policy, public choice


It has traditionally been thought that judges, prosecutors and lawyers operated outside the normal domain of interest-group politics. However, more recently, a literature has developed that applies public choice or interest-group reasoning to study the behavior of the various actors within the legal system. In particular, attorneys and judges are both motivated by the same kinds of economic self-interests that have been brought to bear fruitfully in modeling human action more generally. In this chapter we review some of the literature lying at the intersection of public choice and the law.

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