Comparative Law and Society
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Comparative Law and Society

Edited by David S. Clark

Comparative Law and Society, part of the Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series, is a pioneering volume that comprises 19 original essays written by expert authors from across the world. This innovative handbook offers both a history of the field of comparative law and society and a thorough exploration of its methods, disciplines, and major issues, presenting the most comprehensive look into this contemporary field to date.
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Chapter 5: Comparative Law and Economics: Accounting for Social Norms

Francesco Parisi and Barbara Luppi


Francesco Parisi and Barbara Luppi* 1 COMPARATIVE LAW AND ECONOMICS1 Unlike prior methodological trends in comparative law, the methodology of comparative law and economics is here to stay.2 The findings of comparative law and economics are increasingly influential among academics and policymakers alike. It is probably the most successful example of the recent expansion of law and economics into areas that were once considered beyond the realm of economic analysis. In an historical perspective, law and economics has affected legal studies beyond its planned ambitions. The introduction of economics into the study of law has irreversibly transformed traditional legal methodology. Contrary to the Langdellian law school tradition, which developed a self-contained framework of case analysis and classification, law and economics examined legal rules as a working system. Economics complemented legal analysis, by providing the analytical rigor necessary for the study of the vast body of legal rules present in a modern legal system. As pointed out by Francesco Parisi and Barbara Luppi (2012), comparative law and economics has also attracted several criticisms and generated academic skepticism. The critiques point to the many misuses of economic analysis in comparative law. In Section 1 of this chapter, we wish to shed some light on the multi-faceted structure of the comparative law and economics method, providing an assessment of the debate on the merits of this methodology. 1.1 Theory Much of the work in comparative law and economics builds on the findings of comparative law by identifying interesting legal issues and analyzing them...

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