The uneasy case for parsimony in (law and) economics: conceptual, empirical and normative arguments

Cserne, Peter (2019) The uneasy case for parsimony in (law and) economics: conceptual, empirical and normative arguments. Global Jurist, 19 (3). p. 20190001. ISSN 1934-2640

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Taking Guido Calabresi’s discussion of preferences and value judgements in The Future of Law and Economics as a starting point, this paper analyses some conceptual difficulties, epistemic benefits and normative uses of parsimonious economic analyses of “tastes and values.” First, the paper shows that it is not only possible to analyse and model all the richness of “tastes and values” in terms of rational choice theory with intellectual honesty and epistemic benefit. In fact, economists and economically inspired legal scholars have been doing this for a while. Second, it discusses three arguments that economists can mount in support of parsimonious models. Third, it shows that in spite of these benefits the merits of such an exercise in parsimony do not always clearly outweigh its drawbacks. In doing so, the paper distinguishes three types of limits of such parsimonious modelling.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: law and economics: methodology; vales and morality in economic theory; Guido Calabresi; parsimony in economic theory
Subjects: L100 Economics
M200 Law by Topic
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 14:31
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 13:16

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