Research Handbook on Austrian Law and Economics

Co-edited with Todd J. Zywicki

Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. (2018)

The original contributions in this 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 before moving on to chapters which discuss key concepts in Austrian economics such as: dynamic competitive processes, spontaneous order, subjective value, entrepreneurship, and the limited nature of individual knowledge – as they relate to topics in evolutionary law and basic law.


This book presents contributions from both economists and legal scholars on topics ranging from methodology of analysis and the evolution of contemporary legal practice, to the teachings of basic law. Taken as a whole, this Research Handbook provides a strong overview of contemporary research in the Austrian school of law and economics. It is an approach that reflects both the examination of how alternative legal arrangements impact economic performance, and how to use the tools of basic economic reasoning to study the operation of legal rules.


Scholars working in the fields of law, jurisprudence, economics, and public policy will find this an important resource on the cutting edge of Austrian political economy in application to law and economics. 


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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction 

1. Law and economics: the contributions of the Austrian School of Economics
Peter J. Boettke and Todd J. Zywicki


Part II Methodology of Law and Economics

2. Property rights, the Coase Theorem and informality
Martín Krause


3. Coase, Posner, and Austrian law and economics
Peter T. Leeson


Part III Evolutionary Law

4. Nature as first custom: Hayek on the evolution of social rules
Gerald J. Postema


5. The law and economics of rule reform
Christopher J. Coyne


6. Legal process for fostering innovation
Henry N. Butler and Larry E. Ribstein


7. Customary commercial law, credibility, contracting, and credit in the high Middle Ages
Bruce L. Benson


8. Self-Governance, property rights, and illicit commerce
David Skarbek


9. Austrian law and economics and efficiency in the common law
Todd J. Zywicki and Edward P. Stringham


10. Dispute resolution when rationalities conflict: cost and choice in a mixed economy
Richard E. Wagner


Part IV Basic Law

11. Sparks cases in contemporary law and economic scholarship
Eric R. Claeys


12. Austrian economics and tort law
Michael E. DeBow


13. Antitrust and competition from a market-process perspective
Donald J. Boudreaux


14. Civil Procedure reconsidered
Jeffrey S. Parker


15. An Austrian analysis of contemporary American business law
Peter G. Klein and Thomas A. Lambert


16. Firms without boards: unleashing the Hayekian firm
M. Todd Henderson


17. Bankruptcy judge as a central planner
Todd J. Zywicki and Shruti Rajagopalan


18. Family Law, uncertainty, and the coordination of human capital
Steven Horwitz


Part V Conclusion

19. Conclusion: the future of “Austrian” Law and Economics
Peter J. Boettke and Todd J. Zywicki