What's Yours is Mine: A Rent-Seeking Theory of the Common Law

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The paper develops a rent-seeking theory of the common law. The general finding is that the law's form depends on the comparative advantage each group has in production versus appropriation generally, and appropriation via litigation in particular. The model generates new interpretations of developments in United States common law, and is used both to supplement and to criticize two dominant theories of such law, the efficiency theory associated with the law and economics movement and that generated by critical legal studies scholars.

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