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The Pursuit of Justice: Law and Economics of Legal Institutions Paperback – June 8, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"The American legal system is not just fraying at the edges, in some ways it is fundamentally broken. The Pursuit of Justice is a cutting-edge look at what went wrong and where to go from here. Everyone interested in law and economics should read it."--Tyler Cowen, Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics, George Mason University, co-author, MarginalRevolution.com

The Pursuit of Justice does a wonderful job of using modern methods of social science to examine the actual effects of law, as differentiated from its apparent intent. People do not simply obey or disobey laws; rather, they react to the incentives implied in the law. Those incentives often produce results that differ from what is legally mandated, because people may have an incentive to find loopholes in the law and because laws often have unintended secondary effects. By taking into account the actual effects of the legal system, this volume offers substantial insight into the way the legal system works in practice, and how it can be improved.”--Randall G. Holcombe, DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics, Florida State University

“Judges, police, prosecutors and lawyers are all people with their own goals and constraints. They may care about social welfare, but they certainly care about other things as well. The discipline of Public Choice has contributed greatly to our understanding of political behavior by taking this perspective with respect to politicians. The Pursuit of Justice begins the very important process of applying this insight to the functioning of the legal system. The American legal system has many flaws, and this most insightful book will contribute both to understanding the source of these flaws and then to fixing them.”--Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics and Law, Emory University

About the Author

Edward J. López is a research fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of Economics and the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism at Western Carolina, and the President of the Public Choice Society.

More About the Author

I am an economics professor at Western Carolina University. My work focuses on the economics of ideas, fashion, and politics.

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