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Economic Analysis of Accident Law

Economic Analysis of Accident Law

Steven Shavell

ISBN 9780674024175

Publication date: 03/31/2007

“[This] is certainly a masterpiece.”—Thomas S. Ulen, Journal of Economic Literature

“The strength of Shavell’s book is its lucid, structured development and explication of the economic model. It represents the best systematic presentation of the relevance of economic argument for issues of risk allocation.”—Jules L. Coleman, Yale Law Journal

“Steven Shavell…[has] drawn upon [his] previous path-breaking work to issue [one of] the most important books in the law and economics of tort law since the release in 1970 of Guido Calabresi’s The Costs of Accidents…The work is a masterful tribute to the power of economic modelling and the use of optimization techniques…I, for one, was immensely impressed by the richness of the insights that Shavell’s theoretical approach provided into the fundamental issues of tort law.”—John J. Donohue III, Harvard Law Review

Accident law, if properly designed, is capable of reducing the incidence of mishaps by making people act more cautiously. Scholarly writing on this branch of law traditionally has been concerned with examining the law for consistency with felt notions of right and duty. Since the 1960s, however, a group of legal scholars and economists have focused on identifying the effects of accident law on people’s behavior. Steven Shavell’s book is the definitive synthesis of research to date in this new field.


  • A lucid, up-to-date survey of the economics of accident law.

    —Roger Bowles, Economic Journal


  • Steven Shavell is Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 0-3/4 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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