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Publications [#345532] of Steven G. Medema

Chapters in Books

  1. Medema, SG, Chicago law and economics, in The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (January, 2010), pp. 160-174, ISBN 9781840648744 [doi]
    (last updated on 2021/06/13)

    The field of law and economics is arguably the most successful of economics’ various imperialistic movements, and this success has been driven largely by scholars from the University of Chicago and their protégés. If one spends much time examining the current literature in the field, including ‘surveys’ of law and economics and its development, one comes away with the distinct impression that the fi eld is a post-1960 phenomenon, one that dates roughly from the founding of the Journal of Law and Economics (JL and E) in the late 1950s and the publication of Ronald Coase’s (1960) ‘The problem of social cost’. In fact, of course, law and economics, conceived of as the study of the interrelations between legal and economic processes, is as old as economics itself. The ancient Greeks, the scholastics, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Henry Sidgwick, the German Historical School, A.C. Pigou, and, inter alia, the early American institutionalists devoted signifi cant attention to legal–economic relationships. Yet, the existence of this literature is noted only barely, if at all, in contemporary legal–economic scholarship, and, when taken note of, it is largely waved aside as something very diff erent from (and irrelevant for) contemporary analysis.

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