Modeling Law

Reading Material

Required Texts: Francesco Parisi, The Language of Law and Economics (Cambridge U. Press, 2013)

On-line Readings: SSRN Home Page:


Course Description

After a brief introduction to the methodology of law and economics, this course provides a brief introduction to the basic concepts of economic analysis for the study of law and legal institutions. The course covers several areas of law.



The course grade will be assigned on the basis of an exam/paper. Knowledge of the assigned concepts and definitions will be fundamental for the satisfactory completion of the course requirements.


Class Schedule and Assignments

See posted class schedule and classroom assignment.


Topic I The Economic Approach to Law: An Introduction


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under  “History of Law and Economics” and “Methodology and Welfare Analysis”

Parisi, “Positive, Normative and Functional Schools in Law and Economics” European Journal of Law and Economics (2004) (


Topic II Theory of Incentives:  Voluntary Relationships


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under “Contract Theory and Mechanism Design” and “Economics of Contracts” Parisi-Luppi-Fon, Optimal Remedies for Bilateral Contracts (


Topic III  Theory of Incentives:  Involuntary Relationships


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under “Economics of Torts” Dari Mattiacci-Parisi, “Tort Law: A Précis” Elgar Companion to Law and Economics (2005) (

Parisi-Fon, “Comparative Causation,” American Law and Economics Review (2004) (


Topic IV  Coase and the Economics of Legal Remedies


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under “Theory of Market Failures” and “The Coase Theorem and Remedies” Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost,” 3 Journal of Law and Economics 1-44 (1960)

Calabresi- Melamed, “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral,” 85 Harvard Law Review 1089-1128 (1972)


Topic V Models of Litigation and the Legal Evolution


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under “Economics of Litigation and Enforcement”

Rubin, “Why is the Common Law Efficient,” 6 Journal of  Legal Studies 51-63 (1977)

Priest, “The Common Law Process and the Selection of Efficient  Rules,” 6 Journal of Legal Studies 65-82 (1977)

Fon-Parisi-Depoorter, “Litigation, Judicial Path-Dependence and Legal Change” (


Topic VI  Rent-Seeking Models


Tullock, Gordon. 1967. “The Welfare Cost of Tariffs, Monopoly and Theft.” Western Economic Journal, 5: 224-232.

Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, and Francesco Parisi. 2005. “Rents, Dissipation, and Lost Treasures: Rethinking Tullock's Paradox.” Public Choice, 124: 411-422.

Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, Sander Onderstal and Francesco Parisi. 2008. “Seeking Rents in the Shadow of Coase.” Public Choice, 139: 171-196.


Topic VII Models of Lawmaking and Collective Decision-Making


Parisi (2013*), entries listed under “Social Choice and Public Choice”

Tullock, Gordon. “Problems of Majority Voting,” Journal of Political Economy, 67 (1959), 571–9

Tullock, Gordon. “A Simple Algebraic Logrolling Model,” The American Economic Review, 60 (1970), 419–26.

Parisi, “Political Coase Theorem” Public Choice (2003)

Luppi, Barbara and Parisi, Francesco, Politics With(Out) Coase (2011). International Review of Economics SSRN: