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 19: Conclusion: the future of “Austrian” law and economics

Peter J. Boettke and Todd J. Zywicki


The future of “Austrian” law and economics is informed and draws its inspirations from past methodological battles faced by the Austrian School in its development. From this past methodological battles arose Austrian-inspired developments, including transaction cost economics, property rights economics, public choice economics, and market process economics. Central to this interpretive slant in the narrative on the history of modern economic thought is law and economics. The research program in law and economics related to endogenous rule formation takes on, as we argued, a new urgency in a world where, analytically and empirically, we are effectively reasoning “out of anarchy.” Methodologically and analytically, this is best tackled by pursuing “invisible hand” theorizing. One of the real intellectual conundrums of the modern world is that if we recognize the role of spontaneously grown institutions, we must admit that actors within the society do not necessarily have to understand the function and purpose of those institutions to benefit from their operation. But, citizens may indeed have to understand and appreciate these spontaneously grown institutions in order for these institutions to be sustained and respected in our modern democratic societies.

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