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Stated most generally, the point I want to emphasize is that economic analysis of any issue does not take place in a vacuum. In particular, law-and-economics analyses are confined by political institutions, moral norms, social conventions, and widely shared beliefs about the rights and obligations of members of a society and of the society itself. The problems addressed in law and economics are themselves structured by those institutions, principles, and convictions. This noneconomic foundation has implications for the way we who work in law and economics do our research and for the way we ought to understand the results of that research.

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