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Duke University




Law and economics-the systematic application of neoclassical price theory to legal problems 1 -has dominated the legal academy in recent years. One recent study found that law and economics "for several decades appears to have pervaded about one quarter of scholarship in elite law reviews,"2 and that figure may seriously understate the theory's influence.3 A number of justifiably wellregarded scholarly journals devote themselves almost exclusively to economic analysis of law, and the subject is now a regular part of law school curricula.' Perhaps most importantly, law and economics is a pervasive and influential presence in informal academic discussions. Even legal scholars who profess no significant interest in law and economics can and do talk with facility, if not always with perfect understanding, about such law and economics staples as marginal cost curves, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, and the Coase Theorem.' Interest in law and economics may have levelled off in the past few years,7 but advocates of an economic approach to legal analysis cannot be displeased with their progress.'

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