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May 1970 Archives

The Cost of Accidents: A Legal and Economic Analysis

A pioneer of law and economics along with Ronald Coase and Richard Posner, Guido Calabresi in 1970 wrote perhaps the most influential modern book on tort law. Calabresi, who is now a federal appeals judge on the Second Circuit, suggested an economic rationale for tort law to deter the cost of future accidents, which have social costs external to market exchange. Calabresi�s terminology is sometimes confused: he describes tort law as a vehicle for "market" as opposed to government decisionmaking, when in fact jury verdicts forcibly redistribute wealth relying on government power, albeit in decentralized fashion. Nevertheless, Calabresi's seminal book is a classic that anyone should read who wants to learn about law and economics and its influence on the law of torts.
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