The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law

By Ward Farnsworth | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The footnote (or, in this book, the endnote) is an overrated institution in legal scholarship, but in this case I really did need to use a lot of them. In this book I weave in my own views without compunction; that was part of the fun of writing it. But my central project is to round up useful ideas developed by specialists and teach them to a more general audience. The authors of those ideas are entitled to credit, which I have tried to give wherever appropriate, and to my thanks, which I offer here—along with apologies for any oversights I have made in attributing the ideas and examples in the book to their most deserving sources.

In three cases the topics I wanted to discuss had already received outstanding treatment somewhat similar in approach to what I sought to achieve here: useful ideas crisply explained, with lots of interesting examples. In those cases I asked the authors of the original works—Eric Posner,1 Saul Levmore,2 and Eugene Volokh3—if they might join me as coauthors of the chapters covering those subjects. They each were kind enough to agree. The resulting chapters sometimes go a bit beyond the scope of those original articles, but in all three cases the substance of them is attributable mostly, or more than mostly, to my coauthors. I am grateful to them for permitting their work to be adapted here. The book is stronger for it.

Speaking of Saul Levmore, I also owe a large additional debt of thanks to him for providing generous encouragement and suggestions from early in the process of writing this book to the end of it. His work and his conversation overflow with interesting ideas, and the book has been greatly enriched by them at countless points—sometimes in ways reflected in the endnotes, and sometimes not. For reading and commenting on the manuscript or parts of it, I also thank Jack Beermann, Eric Blumenson, Robert Bone, Ronald Cass, Tamar Frankel, Jonathan Koehler, Andrew Kull, Gary Lawson, Gerald Leonard, Steve Marks, Jeff Rachlinski, Ken Simons, and three anonymous referees for the University of Chicago Press; John Tryneski and Leslie Keros, also at the Press, helped the book along in various important ways as well. I received able research assistance on the project from Alon Cohen, Susan Frauenhoffer, Daniel Norland, Sarah

-xi-

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The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part I - Incentives 1
  • 1 - Ex Ante and Ex Post 3
  • 2 - The Idea of Efficiency 13
  • 3 - Thinking at the Margin 24
  • 4 - The Single Owner 37
  • 5 - The Least Cost Avoider 47
  • 6 - Administrative Cost 57
  • 7 - Rents 66
  • 8 - The Coase Theorem 75
  • Part II - Trust, Cooperation, and Other Problems for Multiple Players 85
  • 9 - Agency with Eric Posner 87
  • 10 - The Prisoner's Dilemma 100
  • 11 - Public Goods 109
  • 12 - The Stag Hunt 117
  • 13 - Chicken 126
  • 14 - Cascades 136
  • 15 - Voting Paradoxes 144
  • 16 - Suppressed Markets with Saul Levmore 152
  • Part III - Jurisprudence 161
  • 17 - Rules and Standards 163
  • 18 - Slippery Slopes with Eugene Volokh 172
  • 19 - Acoustic Separation 182
  • 20 - Property Rules and Liability Rules 188
  • 21 - Baselines 198
  • Part IV - Psychology 207
  • 22 - Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept- The Endowment Effect and Kindred Ideas 209
  • 23 - Hindsight Bias 218
  • 24 - Framing Effects 224
  • 25 - Anchoring 230
  • 26 - Self-Serving Bias, with a Note on Attribution Error 237
  • Part V - Problems of Proof 247
  • 27 - Acoustic Separation 249
  • 28 - Standards of Proof 257
  • 29 - The Product Rule 273
  • 30 - The Base Rate 281
  • 31 - Value and Markets 294
  • Notes 305
  • Author Index 329
  • Subject Index 335
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