Pathbreaking Work in Modern Law and Economics?

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, Pathbreaking Work in Modern Law and Economics?, Truth on the Market (December 21, 2006),

A project I am working on, and will blog about in the near future, has got me thinking about the following question which I would like to pass along to our readers and my co-bloggers for their thoughts:

What, if any, are the truly pathbreaking contributions to economic analysis of law in the last twenty years?

To be clear, I do not mean good or even important contributions to L&E. Rather, I mean contributions that have or are likely to transform the field or the application of economic thought to a particular subject area (think: Coase and The Problem of Social Cost, Becker on economic analysis of crime, Calabresi on the Cost of Accidents, Manne on Insider Trading, etc.). Is it too early to identify these? Are the L&E trails already blazed such that only marginal contributions (which can be very important but are less likely to be pathbreaking in the sense meant here) are left? Are any post-1986 contributions already “pathbreaking”? Which ones? Be specific! Include the author(s), title(s), and the spirit of the contribution. I’ll return to this topic later on and share my own thoughts then.