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The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Second Edition

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

This thoroughly updated and revised edition of a popular and authoritative reference work introduces the reader to the major concepts and leading contributors in the field of law and economics. The Companion features accessible, informative and provocative entries on all the significant issues, and breaks new ground by bringing together widely dispersed yet theoretically congruent ideas.
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Chapter 58: Pietro Trimarchi (1934–)

Giampaolo Frezza and Francesco Parisi


Giampaolo Frezza and Francesco Parisi Introduction In 1961, Pietro Trimarchi published Rischio e Responsabilità Oggettiva (Risk and strict liability) (Trimarchi, 1961), a monograph that has become a ‘milestone’ in the economic analysis of the law in Italy. Meanwhile, in the United States, the writings of Ronald Coase, Richard A. Posner, Guido Calabresi and Gary Becker were popularizing the so-called ‘new law and economics’. Trimarchi, however, studied the delicate question of strict liability separately. His independent study focused on the function and the structure of strict liability in microeconomic terms. Trimarchi’s works include other publications concerning the economic approach to law. Particularly relevant, and quoted in Trimarchi (1961), is Il ‘caso fortuito’quale limite della responsabilita per il danno da cose (‘Fortuitous event’ as a limit of the liability for damage caused by things) (Trimarchi, 1959). Another monograph, titled Causalità e danno (Causality and damage) (Trimarchi, 1967), synthesizes the content of his theory on strict liability for enterprise risk. This chapter first assesses Trimarchi’s theory and also devotes particular attention to the economic analysis of the principles of contractual liability that Trimarchi takes pains to develop and contrast with widespread and respected theories from the United States. According to Trimarchi, a legal system, not a conventional system of contractual liability, provides an optimal distribution of productive resources, as supported in a famous essay by Coase (1960). In ‘L’analisi economica del diritto: tendenze e prospettive’ (Economic analysis of law: tendencies and perspectives) (Trimarchi, 1987), originally presented at a congress in Padua, 21–23...

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