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Legal History

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Steven G Medema

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Debating Law's Irrelevance: Legal Scholarship And The Coase Theorem In The 1960s, Steven G. Medema Feb 2013

Debating Law's Irrelevance: Legal Scholarship And The Coase Theorem In The 1960s, Steven G. Medema

Steven G Medema

The paper examines the treatment of the Coase theorem by legal scholars during the 1960s. The analysis demonstrates that it was legal scholars, rather than economists, who took the lead in applying Coase's negotiation result in the legal realm and that the early diffusion of Coase's result in the legal literature is anything but a "Chicago" story. We also observe that legal scholars were interesting in examining the applicability of Coase's result across a wide range of legal issues and, in contrast to economists, who were preoccupied with the efficiency predication of Coase's result, tended to ...