Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus
Giampaolo Frezza and Francesco Parisi Introduction The work of the Italian scholar Augusto Graziani anticipates in many respects some insights of modern law and economics and institutional theory. His arguments focus with great clarity on the link between economics and legal studies. In his view, such a link is twofold. To identify and exemplify laws independent of their natural development and of any formal qualiﬁcation of them – a particular need in the fundamental works under study here – Graziani illustrates the generic relationship between economic reasoning and legal choices (especially on the part of the lawmaker). Sometimes, in fact, the very existence of certain legal institutions is ontologically dictated by economic requirements: one example that can be cited even without deeper analysis is the institution of the state, which represents the modern constitutional entity and owes its origin to economics. The state was born of the need to draft public budgets in order to accomplish public goals. On the other hand, and more speciﬁcally, the author analyses some legal developments in terms of efﬁciency, and according to the strict criteria of the microeconomic method, especially in the areas of inheritance and contract. Interestingly, Graziani introduced the modern concept of ‘efﬁcient breach’ of contract. The economic foundation of law We start our analysis of Graziani’s work by considering his perspective on the ‘economic foundation of law’. ‘The economic foundation of law’, a lecture to inaugurate the 1893–94 academic year at the University of Siena, was published in...
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