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 12: Austrian economics and tort law

Michael E. DeBow

Abstract

This chapter provides a history of the expanding domain of tort law in the United States, with a particular focus on the spread of the concept of strict liability and a consonant erosion of contractual liability in favor of torts. It then surveys differing Austrian viewpoints on the moral standard underlying torts, the merits of the common law, intentional and unintentional torts, and product liability. It concludes that Austrian scholars who are comfortable with the normative standard of “individual freedom from domination” should conduct research countering the case for the ever-growing expansion of tort law.

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