Research Handbook on Austrian Law and Economics
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Research Handbook on Austrian Law and Economics

Edited by Todd J. Zywicki and Peter J. Boettke

The original contributions to the Research Handbook provide an introduction to the application of Austrian economics to law. The book begins with chapters on the methodology of law and economics. Further chapters discuss key concepts in Austrian economics – dynamic competitive processes, spontaneous order, subjective value, entrepreneurship, and the limited nature of individual knowledge – as they relate to topics in evolutionary law (social rules, self-governance, dispute resolution) and basic law (torts, antitrust, civil procedure, business and family law).
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Chapter 2: Property rights, the Coase Theorem and informality

Martín Krause


Austrian economists have been ambivalent on the foundational contributions of Ronald Coase to modern law and economics. One side supported a Lockean natural rights view based on the property over one’s own body as a determinant of rights and considerations of justice. The other side supported a Coasean efficiency view, with a Hayekian evolutionary perspective. Our conclusion will be that both are found in informal slums, but informal solutions of disputes among neighbors generally follow a “rights” approach and do not intentionally look for efficiency.

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