Antonio Nicita
U. of Siena



(Thursday, 1st January 2004)

Title : Methodology in Law and Economics

“Law and Economics” is only apparently a well-defined field of research. According to the JEL classification, “Law and Economics” research covers a number of topics like the economic analysis of contract law, property law and torts, criminal law, competition law and corporate governance. However law and economics researchers would also include in the list the theory of the firm, the theories of institutions and regulation, the evolution of norms and behavior and so on. One possible way to overcome discussion on what law and economics is or should be is to isolate a specific method of investigation. Finding a unique method of research in law and economics is however a titanic task.

The workshop will thus distinguish several approaches to law and economics outlining the main feature of each: (i) Chicago Law and Economics; (ii) New Institutionalism and Transaction Costs Economics; (iii) Public Choice Theory; (iv) Critical Legal Studies; (v) Institutionalism; (vi) Behavioral Law and Economics; (vii) Economics of Institutional Complementarities.

The resulting picture will outline the complexity surrounding current methods and approaches to law and economics and will stress the need to go beyond the Chicago tradition in order to assess the full range of interdependencies between legal rules, economic behaviors and institutional change.

Bibliographical references :

Kerkmeester Heico (2000)Methodology: general” - In: Encyclopedia of law and economics: the history and methodology of law and economics / de Geest Gerrit [edit.], Cheltenham, Elgar, 2000, 1, p. 383-401

Ron Harris (2003) The Uses of History in Law and Economics” Theoretical Inquiries in Law Volume 4, Number 2 July 2003

Malcolm Rutherford (2003)Chicago Economics and Institutionalism”, University of Victoria

David Campbell and Sol Picciotto (1998)Exploring The Interaction Between Law and Economics:The Limits of Formalism” in Legal Studies 18(3): 249-278

Bingyuang Hsiung (2001)A methodological comparison of Ronald Coase and Gary Becker” in American Law and Economics Review, V3 N1 2001 186-198

Christine Jolls Cass R. Sunstein and Richard Thaler (1998) A Behavioral Approach to Law and Economics” Stanford Law Review [Vol. 50:1471]

Thomas Ulen (2003) Firmly grounded: economics in the future of the law”, SIMPLE 16/03, Siena Memos and Papers on Law and Economics

Nicholas Mercuro and Steven G. Medema (1997) "Economics and the Law:From Posner to Post-Modernism", Princeton University Press

Ronald Coase (1993) "Coase on Posner on Coase and Concluding Comment", 149 Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft (Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics) 96, 360 (1992)

Ronald Coase (1993) "Law and Economics at Chicago", 36 Journal of Law and Economics 239-254 (1993)

Posner, R. (1993) "The New Institutional Economics Meets Law and Economics". Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE, ZgS), 149 (1), 73-87

Williamson, Oliver E. (1993) "Transaction Cost Economics Meets Posnerian Law and Economics," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 149(1), 99-118



(Saturday, 1st January 2005)

Title : Antitrust: from theory to practices

The workshop will address the evolution of main approaches in competition law and economics both in US and UE.
The talk will in particular outline the contribution of New Institutional Economics to Antitrust policy stressing how the perspective of transaction costs economics has rapidly reversed some of the main conclusions of ‘Sherman Act’ Antitrust. The success of New Institutional Economics in dealing with antitrust issues has been recently challenged by post-Chicago scholars’ contributions aimed at emphasizing the interdependence between internal efficiency in organizations and market monopolization. Some antitrust cases are discussed and a possible agenda for future research is proposed.

Lecture Outline:

  1. Antitrust Law and Economics: the origins
  2. The core of Chicago Law and Economics
  3. New Institutional Economics meets Antitrust Law and Economics
  4. Antitrust vs Regulation
  5. Post-Chicago Antitrust
  6. Some paradoxes and dilemmas

Bibliographical references :

Must read reference : William E. Kovacic and Carl Shapiro (1999) “Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal  Thinking”, Working Paper No. CPC99-09

Paul L. Joskow (2000) “Transaction Cost Economics and Competition Policy”, mimeo

Massimo Motta, Competition Policy, Cambridge University Press, 2004

CNRS Chaire GovReg Europe