Bibliographic Details

Commensurability and agency : two yet-to-be-met challenges for law and economics / Alon Harel and Ariel Porat.

Author / Creator Harel, Alon, author.
Imprint [Chicago, Illinois] : Law School, University of Chicago, 2011.
Description 1 online resource (44 pages)
Language English
Series John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper ; no. 558 (2d series)
Public law and legal theory working paper ; no. 354
John M. Olin Program in Law & Economics working paper ; 2nd ser., no. 558.
Public law and legal theory working paper ; no. 354.
Subject Law and economics.
Agency (Law)
Cost effectiveness.
Agency (Law)
Cost effectiveness.
Law and economics.
Format E-Resource, Book
URL for this record
Related ItemsContained in (work):: Cornell law review 0010-8847
Other authors / contributors Porat, Ariel, author.
Notes "June 2011."
Article reprinted from: Cornell law revew, volume 96, issue 4 (May 2011).
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary "This paper identifies two normative challenges to law and economics. The first challenge relates to commensurability and the second focuses on agency, in particular the agency of the state. The first part of the paper establishes that under the current legal system not all potential outcomes are comparable to one another in the way dictated by law and economics. Most significantly, the legal system refuses to translate high risks to life into monetary term; it refuses to explicitly concede that different lives have different values; and it refuses to trade basic human rights (for example, the right not to be tortured) for monetary or proprietary interests. We show that the traditional tools of law and economics cannot explain such rules and we identify alternative non-economic explanations. The second part of the paper examines who can be an agent acting in the name of the state. Economic analysis identifies the proper agent to discharge any task exclusively on the basis of its efficacy in discharging the task. In contrast we argue that there are deeply held convictions (and legal doctrines) requiring that certain tasks ought to be performed only by public officials (irrespective of their efficacy). Such a performance is necessary for dignity-based reasons. This analysis explains the doctrine of inherently governmental functions and the resistance to certain forms of privatization."


Call Number: XXK487.E3 H366 2011

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