Professor Georgakopoulos’s New Book Approaches Law and Economics in a Different Way
Professor Nicholas Georgakopoulos has a new book out entitled Principles and Methods of Law and Economics (Cambridge University Press 2005). He hopes that it approaches the topic of law and economics is a different way. Georgakopoulos says, “Law and economics is a very young field. Not only is it misunderstood but also a lot of the learning is unstructured. The previous books on law and economics were addressed primarily to economists and studied each area of the law as an application of a particular economic theory -- property law related to investment in improvements, contract law related to investment in preparations to perform, tort law related to the cost of care. This approach, however, has drawbacks. It oversimplifies, in the sense that particular rules within each legal topic may be motivated by other reasons. Also, it only explains the enumerated areas or rules. I thought that for lawyers, a likely more productive approach would be to explain a broad array of economic methods, with applications in many legal fields. Hopefully, the reader would take multiple tools to apply to new problems.”
“Thus, my book follows the opposite approach from that of previous books about law and economics. Instead of the chapters being legal topics, the chapters are economic methods. One could think of it as analogous to showing fish and teaching fishing. Previous books illustrate how some specific fish were caught (how some rules were explained in economic terms). Instead, my book illustrates many fishing techniques (ways in which economic principles explain rules). I would like to think that this book makes the difference between displaying fish and teaching how to fish.”
Professor Georgakopoulos joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis in 2002, when he also became a John S. Grimes Fellow. He has recently co-authored, Blumberg on Corporate Groups, 2nd ed. (Aspen 2005). He has also recently published two articles: “Self-Fulfilling Impressions of Criminality” (International Review of Law and Economics) and “Judicial Reaction to Change: The California Supreme Court around the 1986 Elections” (Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy). He presented “Contract-Cetered Veil-Piercing” at the American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting in May of this year, and will be presenting “Failures of the Coase Theorem” at the Midwestern Law and Economics meeting at Northwestern University on October 14-15, 2005. He has also been invited to submit an entry on the Economic Analysis of Securities Regulation for the Encyclopedia of Law and Society, due out in 2007.