September, 2006

Crafting Social Rules

  • Richard Wagner

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
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While a considerable literature has arisen seeking to compare the economic efficiency of common law and statute law processes, some scholars have argued that these efforts are misplaced because what should be assessed is not efficiency but stability of expectations. This paper argues that any generic comparison of common law and statute law must be inconclusive, because there is no such thing as the common law or statute law process. Rather, there are many particular processes, and any claim based on a comparison of generic alternatives will falter because it will fail to reflect essential institutional detail.

Read the article at SpringerLink, originally published in September, 1992.