The Legal Foundations of Free Markets


Monetary Policy

A lively new book which explores a fascinating historical challenge to state control of money

Energy and Environment

A new book which argues that market-based adaptation should be favoured when contemplating the challenges of climate change

Housing and Planning

In this major collection, leading experts discuss the role of law in market economies
In this book, Stephen Copp has brought together some of the world’s leading figures in the field of law and economics to discuss questions that are central to our understanding of how a free-market economy operates.

Though most people accept that a free economy cannot exist in a legal vacuum, important questions about how systems of law come into being and what form they should take remain in dispute. The authors shed light on some of these issues, such as whether common law systems are better than codified law systems; the relationship between natural law and government law; whether systems of law evolve within societies or are imposed from above by government; and the role of human rights, as guaranteed by constitutions. After examining these questions, the authors then proceed to look at specific problems that are frequently disputed by economists – such as the role of competition law; the relationship between law, regulation and economics; and how the law can protect the environment without onerous regulation.

This collection is an important contribution to the literature in the field of law and economics. It is important both for economists who wish to understand more about the origins and purposes of law and regulation,and for lawyers who need to understand more about the economic foundations of sound legal systems.

‘This book is fantastic. It is a perfect blend of historical analysis, economics and legal theory, and should be on the bookshelf of every serious student in the field of Law and Economics.’ Alex Robson, Australian National University


1. The legal foundations of free markets by Stephen F. Copp
2. Do markets need government? by Peter T. Leeson
3. Natural law, Scholasticism and free markets by Samuel Gregg
4. The common law and wealth by Cento Veljanovski
5. Economics and the design of regulatory law by Anthony Ogus
6. Economic rights by Norman Barry
7. Breach of contract and the efficiency of markets by David Campbell
8. Limited liability and freedom by Stephen F. Copp
9. Unilateral practices and the dominant firm: the European Community and the United States by Richard A. Epstein
10. Private versus public regulation of the environment by Julian Morris

2009, ISBN 978 0 255 36591 8, 257pp, PB

See also:
The Economics of Law by Cento Veljanovski
Economic Principles of Law by Cento Veljanovski

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