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The Normative Basis of the Economic Analysis of Law, 34 Stanford Law Review 1105 (1982)


The economic analysis of law has taken a decidedly normative turn, especially in the hands of its legally trained advocates. Two forms of normative economic analysis have emerged. One form advocates deploying the principles of neo-classical microeconomic theory to evaluate, and where necessary repair, existing legal and political institutions and policies. This mode of analysis assumes that it is appropriate and desirable for courts, legislatures, and other policy-making bodies to pursue economic efficiency. If the rules these institutions fashion are "efficient," that counts strongly in their favor; if not, they are to be replaced by efficient ones.

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