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 18: Family law, uncertainty, and the coordination of human capital

Steven Horwitz

Abstract

Looking at the law and economics of the family through the eyes of the Austrian school helps us to see two key points of analysis that other approaches might overlook. First, Austrians understand the role played by the law as a node of social coordination in a world of uncertainty. Second, the Austrian understanding of capital, including human capital, sheds light on what makes for a sustainable marital partnership and provides a way of describing in more detail the nature of the coordination problem marriage involves. To the degree that the law facilitates rather than complicates the creation of complementary human capital structures between marital partners, it will contribute to better marriages and fewer divorces.

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