This chapter has two purposes. First, it considers what the components of an “Austrian” law and economics might consist of. I argue that Ronald Coase’s conception of law and economics precludes the economic analysis of legal institutions and, in particular, the beliefs that support them. In doing so, Coase’s conception precludes an Austrian law and economics. In contrast, Richard Posner’s conception of law and economics makes such analysis the core of its study. In doing so, Posner’s conception provides a productive foundation for an Austrian law and economics. Second, to illustrate what some aspects of an Austrian law and economics might look like in practice, I consider several examples of the economic analysis of beliefs of import for the law. I focus on objectively false beliefs, or superstitions, and argue that some such beliefs are socially productive.
Peter J. Boettke and Peter T. Leeson
This research review covers the main theories and justifications for and against state intervention as they have developed over two centuries. It also incorporates an institutional approach to the role of the state in enforcing 'the rules of the game' of the economy as well as examining specific issues including market failure, rent-seeking and regulation.