The Relationship between Economics, Politics and the Law in the Formation of Public Policy

  • Charles Rowley
Part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science book series (BAAS)


Since the seminal article on social cost was published by Ronald Coase in the 1960 issue of the Journal of Law and Economics,1 tremendous strides have been made in legal scholarship incorporating economics and, in particular, in relating legal institutions to the pattern of resource allocation in the advanced economies. US legal scholars and economists have given the lead in this development, but Britain is now following hard on their heels not least via the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Wolfson College, Oxford. Economists have been appointed to tenured positions in many US law schools and even in a few British law schools and research centres specializing in law and economics have been established, for example, at Chicago, Emory, Columbia, Miami, Pennsylvania, and University College, London. Leading textbooks by Posner2 and Hirsch3 have been published in law and economics and several innovative specialist journals have achieved academic and commercial success.4 Moreover, conventional law journals now publish articles which contain substantial inputs of economics.5 In many ways, this developing interest in law and economics has signalled the emergence of a new institutional economics which has led the subject back from the wilderness of abstract theory and from the more extreme applications of positivist econometrics.


Public Choice Trade Union Special Interest Group Union Leader Labour Party 
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© The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1985

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  • Charles Rowley

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