Austrian Law and Economics: The Definitive Collection

July 29, 2011

by Mario Rizzo

Edward Elgar has announced the publication of a two-volume collection of Austrian law and economics articles. The marks the first definitive collection of articles in this field. It is a book for your university or public library. Please recommend it! 

THE BIG BOOK

 
Edited by Mario J. Rizzo, Department of Economics, New York University, US

August 2011 1,488 pp Hardback 978 1 84542 753 5 Regular Price $790.00  Web Price $711.00 

Description
The use of economics to study law was pioneered by the Austrian School of Economics. The nineteenth century founders of the school believed that economics could contribute to understanding the spontaneous development of common law as well as the nature of legal rights. For this insightful two-volume collection Mario Rizzo has selected key papers from today’s vibrant Austrian School, focusing on the study of property, market-chosen law, slippery-slope analysis, entrepreneurship, institutions, decentralized social knowledge, and the evolution of legal institutions.
These volumes represent the cutting-edge Austrian contributions to economics and will be an essential reference source for both students and researchers.

Contents
53 articles, dating from 1969 to 2008 Contributors include: B. Benson, P. Boettke, J. Buchanan, R. Epstein, J. Hasnas, I. Kirzner, P. Leeson, L. Lachmann, C. Menger, L. von Mises, G. Whitman, T. Zywicki

Futher information

The use of economics to study law was pioneered by the Austrian School of Economics. The nineteenth century founders of the school believed that economics could contribute to understanding the spontaneous development of common law as well as the nature of legal rights. For this insightful two-volume collection Mario Rizzo has selected key papers from today’s vibrant Austrian School, focusing on the study of property, market-chosen law, slippery-slope analysis, entrepreneurship, institutions, decentralized social knowledge, and the evolution of legal institutions.
These volumes represent the cutting-edge Austrian contributions to economics and will be an essential reference source for both students and researchers.

Full table of contents

Contents:

Volume I

Acknowledgements

Introduction Mario J. Rizzo

PART I GENERAL SURVEYS OF AUSTRIAN LAW AND ECONOMICS
1. Gregory Scott Crespi (1998), ‘Exploring the Complicationist Gambit: An Austrian Approach to the Economic Analysis of Law’
2. Linda A. Schwartzstein (1994), ‘An Austrian Economic View of Legal Process’
3. Christopher T. Wonnell (1986), ‘Contract Law and the Austrian School of Economics’

PART II METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES
4. Elisabeth Krecké and Carine Krecké (2007), ‘The Anti-Foundational Dilemma: Normative Implications for the Economic Analysis of Law’
5. Elisabeth Krecké (2004), ‘Economic Analysis and Legal Pragmatism’
6. Douglas Glen Whitman (2004), ‘Group Selection and Methodological Individualism: Compatible and Complementary’
7. Mario J. Rizzo (1999), ‘Which Kind of Legal Order? Logical Coherence and Praxeological Coherence’

PART III PROPERTY
8. Ludwig von Mises ([1936] 1981), ‘Ownership’
9. Jörg Guido Hülsmann (2004), ‘The A Priori Foundations of Property Economics’
10. William Barnett II, Walter Block and Gene Callahan (2005), ‘The Paradox of Coase as a Defender of Free Markets’
11. Israel M. Kirzner (1979), ‘Entrepreneurship, Entitlement, and Economic Justice’

PART IV MENGER, HAYEK AND COMMON LAW
12. Carl Menger ([1963] 1985), ‘The “Organic” Origin of Law and the Exact Understanding Thereof’
13. A.I. Ogus (1989), ‘Law and Spontaneous Order: Hayek’s Contribution to Legal Theory’
14. Todd J. Zywicki and Anthony B. Sanders (2008), ‘Posner, Hayek, and the Economic Analysis of Law’
15. John Hasnas (2005), ‘Hayek, the Common Law, and Fluid Drive’
16. Scott A. Beaulier, Peter J. Boettke and Christopher J. Coyne (2005), ‘Knowledge, Economics, and Coordination: Understanding Hayek’s Legal Theory’

PART V EVOLUTION AND LAW
17. Douglas Glen Whitman (1998), ‘Hayek contra Pangloss on Evolutionary Systems’
18. Suri Ratnapala (1993), ‘The Trident Case and the Evolutionary Theory of F.A. Hayek’
19. Suri Ratnapala (2001), ‘Eighteenth-Century Evolutionary Thought and its Relevance in the Age of Legislation’
20. Bruce L. Benson (1989), ‘The Spontaneous Evolution of Commercial Law’
21. John Hasnas (2005), ‘Toward a Theory of Empirical Natural Rights’
22. Todd J. Zywicki (2003), ‘The Rise and Fall of Efficiency in the Common Law: A Supply-Side Analysis’
23. Douglas Glen Whitman (2000), ‘Evolution of the Common Law and the Emergence of Compromise’

Volume II

Acknowledgements

An introduction by the editors to both volumes appears in Volume I

PART I COMMON LAW, BALANCING, AND EFFICIENCY
1. Mario J. Rizzo (1980), ‘Law Amid Flux: The Economics of Negligence and Strict Liability in Tort’
2. Mario J. Rizzo (1980), ‘The Mirage of Efficiency’
3. James M. Buchanan (1969), ‘Private and Social Cost’
4. Peter Lewin (1982), ‘Pollution Externalities: Social Cost and Strict Liability’
5. Roy E. Cordato (1996), ‘Time Passage and the Economics of Coming to the Nuisance: Reassessing the Coasean Perspective’
6. Mario J. Rizzo (1985), ‘Rules Versus Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Common Law’

PART II RULES
7. Richard A. Epstein (2006), ‘Intuition, Custom, and Protocol: How to Make Sound Decisions with Limited Knowledge’
8. Douglas Glen Whitman (2009), ‘The Rules of Abstraction’
9. Todd J. Zywicki (1998), ‘Epstein and Polanyi on Simple Rules, Complex Systems, and Decentralization’

PART III SLIPPERY SLOPE ANALYSIS
10. Mario J. Rizzo and Douglas Glen Whitman (2003), ‘The Camel’s Nose is in the Tent: Rules, Theories, and Slippery Slopes’
11. Douglas Glen Whitman and Mario J. Rizzo (2007), ‘Paternalist Slopes’

PART IV INSTITUTIONS
12. L.M. Lachmann (1971), ‘On Institutions’
13. Karol Boudreaux and Paul Dragos Aligica (2007), ‘The Evolutionary Path’
14. Karol Boudreaux and Paul Dragos Aligica (2007), ‘An Intellectual Toolbox for the Creation of Property Rights’
15. David A. Harper (2003), ‘Institutions I: Rule of Law, Property and Contract’
16. David A. Harper (2003), ‘Institutions II: Money, Political and Legal Decentralisation and Economic Freedom’
17. Peter J. Boettke, Christopher J. Coyne and Peter T. Leeson (2007), ‘Saving Government Failure Theory from Itself: Recasting Political Economy from an Austrian Perspective’

PART V MARKET CHOSEN LAW
18. Edward Stringham (1999), ‘Market Chosen Law’
19. Edward Stringham (2003), ‘The Extralegal Development of Securities Trading in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam’
20. Edward Stringham (2002), ‘The Emergence of the London Stock Exchange as a Self-Policing Club’
21. Anthony Ogus (1999), ‘Competition Between National Legal Systems: A Contribution of Economic Analysis to Comparative Law’
22. Peter T. Leeson (2007), ‘Trading with Bandits’
23. Peter T. Leeson (2007), ‘An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization’

PART VI MINIMIZING THE STATE
24. John Hasnas (2003), ‘Reflections on the Minimal State’
25. Peter T. Leeson (2008), ‘Coordination Without Command: Stretching the Scope of Spontaneous Order’
26. Peter T. Leeson (2006), ‘Efficient Anarchy’
27. Peter T. Leeson (2008), ‘How Important is State Enforcement for Trade?’
28. Walter Block and Thomas J. DiLorenzo (2000), ‘Is Voluntary Government Possible? A Critique of Constitutional Economics’
29. Randall G. Holcombe (2004), ‘Government: Unnecessary but Inevitable’

PART VII DISPERSED KNOWLEDGE AND THE LIMITS OF LAW
30. Mario J. Rizzo (2005), ‘The Problem of Moral Dirigisme: A New Argument Against Moralistic Legislation’

16 Responses to “Austrian Law and Economics: The Definitive Collection”

  1. Mario Rizzo Says:

    Some good ideas if you cannot afford the book. ‎1. Get a library to buy it. 2. Those who contributed to the volume will get a gratis copy. Borrow from them 3. The articles have already been published elsewhere. Google them. 4. My Intro is on my bepress site.

  2. Mario Rizzo Says:

    Btw, it is only about 50 cents per page!!!!!


  3. I bought Man, Economy, and State for only 17 cents per page🙂

    But seriously, this work sounds really exciting, but it immediately prices 99% of interested parties out of the market.


  4. Woops, my math is wrong. MES was only 6 cents per page.

    I suppose this is why I’m an Austrian economist…

  5. Mario Rizzo Says:

    The purpose was to get this in libraries. (Most publishers will not publish collections of already-published articles.) Elgar knows how to do this. It would not exist at an “affordable price.”

    But I will not publish my upcoming paternalism book (with Glen Whitman) with them. It will be published by Cambridge.

  6. Mario Rizzo Says:

    “Man, Economy and State” is being subsidized by Mises Institute donors. Its original, unsubsidized version which I purchased in the late 1960s cost the equivalent of about $300 today. That would amount to 30 cents per page.


  7. Wow. That just might be the most expensive book I’ve ever seen. I hate to be a downer, but I’m afraid it will languish largely unread in university libraries.

    ““Man, Economy and State” is being subsidized by Mises Institute donors.”

    Actually, that’s not true.

    And when MES was originally published, it was published by a traditional publisher. Probably an academic publisher, is that so? In which case, it’s price was probably marked up much higher than need be and marketed toward institutions. Academic publishing is a racket.

  8. Brad W. Says:

    I’m an obsessive bibliophile. I buy and read books like it’s going out of style. And like tons of other Austrian econ books, this one will have to wait on my books-to-buy list for a looong time until the price comes down. In fact, it’s already been there for a while. I’d seriously love to have it though.


  9. To an extent, Mario is correct. The Mises bookstore is subsidized by donations. It was never created to bring in large profits. However, it’s also been true that (as far as I know) the store’s numbers have been in the black. But, if the Mises Institute had to run on bookstore profits it would go out of business — so, in the broader sense, yes the bookstore is subsidized by donations.

    But, we don’t live in the 1960s anymore. Book publishing prices have gone down. I can take all those articles and use some online program to make myself the same book, without the new introduction or what have you, for no more than a seventh of the price.

    The problem is — and this isn’t meant as a subtle insult or anything like that — that these kind of books aren’t in demand. Edgar banks on the hope that their books will be purchased at those prices by tax subsidized universities. If demand is relatively inelastic then it’s difficult to bring down the price. And, if they make more money by selling it at $700 to y people than at $50 to x people, even if x is something a little bit higher than y (because y is subsidized by the state), then they’re probably going to maintain the higher price.

    So yes, academic publishing is a racket.

    Brad, I wouldn’t keep your hopes up. Edgar’s collection on Mises and Hayek are still $700+ and I think it’s been about ten years, although I don’t know the exact publishing date.

  10. Brad W. Says:

    Jonathan, you’re probably right, but 95 percent of my book collection is used and a lot of times you’ll find people and businesses off-loading their books for bargain prices. That’s what I’m holding out for.


  11. Plauche I got that $790 beat in 3 books — they are in the $1100-800 range —
    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/ContractandGeneralCommercialLaw/?view=usa&ci=9780379010008 , http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/IntellectualProperty/IntellectualProperty/?view=usa&ci=9780379012699 , and http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Law/ContractandGeneralCommercialLaw/ElectronicCommerce/?view=usa&ci=9780379012873.

    I agree that absent copyright and tax subsidized libraries, the market for this would be smaller and the demand and thus price probably somewhat lower, but in my defense most of these are purchased by law firms who actually use them–law firms that pay hundreds of bucks of an hour of Lexis or Westlaw research without blinking an eye.

    But I agree that I wish the price of this new book were more reasonable and affordable for normal mortals. Rizzo’s workaround solutions are very impracticable for most people, I fear.

  12. Mario Rizzo Says:

    But then these people are no worse off than before and some who have access to university libraries, for example, are better off. I think the relevant comparison, as I said above, is between a book like this existing at a high price and it not existing (or “existing” at an infinite price).


  13. Mario, you are right, in a narrow sense–better for the book to exist than not, even at that rarified price. But these are all unpaid academic articles. There is presumably no need to pay much, if at all, to authors etc. to get reprint permission. I would think the reason to do this is to get the message out. Maybe you think there is more leverage from having it libraries, though for the life of me I cannot see why. If it were widely available (including free online) then thousands more normal people could access it AND any academics you seek to influence could read it online instead of traipsing down to the library. Anyway this is just perplexing to those of us taking a differnet approach, but to each his own. Good luck with it my brother.


  14. […] An incredibly expensive but groundbreaking collection of papers on Austrian Law & Economics. You should convince your school’s library to buy this. If you can’t, at least make a note of what papers Rizzo chooses for reference. […]

  15. Simon Says:

    I think that there is a good reason to have this collection. There are still universities, probably not in the US, that do not have full electronic access to the journals where the papers were published. At the same time, they are willing to buy these printed collections. Published collections like this one are then sometimes the only way how the students can get access to some important papers. At least that is my own personal experience from the time when I was studying at non-US universities.


  16. Unfortunately many foreign Universities both have abysmal subscriptions to article databases and are subject to a protectionist book acquisition policy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: