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Economics for Lawyers

Economics for Lawyers - Free Ebook Download

Book Detail

Author/Editor(s): Richard A. Ippolito
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
ISBN-10: 069112177X
ISBN-13: 978-0691121772
Language: English
Edition: n/a
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Size: 1.62 MB
Format: pdf

Book Description

Whether dealing with contracts, tort actions, or government regulations, lawyers are more likely to be successful if they are conversant in economics. Economics for Lawyers provides the essential tools to understand the economic basis of law. Through rigorous analysis illustrated with simple graphs and a wide range of legal examples, Richard Ippolito focuses on a few key concepts and shows how they play out in numerous applications. There are everyday problems:
  • What is the social cost of legislation enforcing below-market prices, minimum wages, milk regulation, and noncompetitive pricing?
  • Why are matinee movies cheaper than nighttime showings?
  • And then there are broader questions: What is the patent system's role in the market for intellectual property rights?
  • How does one think about externalities like airport noise?
  • Is the free market, a regulated solution, or tort law the best way to deliver the "efficient amount of harm" in the workplace?
  • What is the best approach to the question of economic compensation due to a person falsely imprisoned?

Along the way, readers learn what economists mean when they talk about sorting, signaling, reputational assets, lemons markets, moral hazard, and adverse selection. They will learn a new vocabulary and a whole new way of thinking about the world they live in, and will be more productive in their professions.

About the Author

Richard A. Ippolito retired in 2004 as Professor of Law and Economics from the George Mason University School of Law, where he taught the materials that form the basis for this book to more than 1,000 law students over the course of his five-year tenure. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1974, and spent twenty-five years working with lawyers on policy and regulatory issues. His previous books include "Pension Plans" and "Employee Performance".


Economics for Lawyers is by far the best book available for lawyers who want to learn the economic concepts that will influence future public policy debates and regulatory decisions. It developed out of Richard Ippolito's immensely popular class at the George Mason University School of Law, where many of the students already work for Congress, the executive branch, or federal regulatory agencies. They, more than most law students, already know that the Washington, DC, policymaking process has become a creative and productive debate between lawyers and economists--one in which it is a distinct advantage to possess both sets of tools.

--Mark F. Grady, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and Economics, University of California, Los Angeles

This book strikes the right balance between rigor and intuition. The tools presented here provide a framework in which the disparate concepts and issues thrown at students in law school can be organized and analyzed systematically. However, Economics for Lawyers also provides the kind of examples that are engaging to even those students who usually shudder when they hear words like 'slope' or 'maximize'.

--Jonathan Klick, Assistant Professor of Law and Courtesy Professor of Economics, Florida State University; Associate Director, Liability Project, American Enterprise Institute

Economics for Lawyers is well and clearly written and well organized, and its examples are quite good. A fine complement to available texts in the area of law and economics, it is a book I would like to teach from; indeed the very thought engendered a feeling of positive anticipation.

--Richard O. Zerbe, Jr., University of Washington, author of A Foundation for the Use of Economics Efficiency in Law and in Economics

This book is well organized and well written, with easy-to-follow main points and a minimum of technical analysis. It will serve its purpose well of introducing economic concepts to law students.

--Albert Choi, University of Virginia
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