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The Future of Law and EconomicsEssays in Reform and Recollection$
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Guido Calabresi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300195897

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300195897.001.0001

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Of the Relationship of Markets and Command in the Liability Rule

Of the Relationship of Markets and Command in the Liability Rule

(p.117) VI Of the Relationship of Markets and Command in the Liability Rule
The Future of Law and Economics

Guido Calabresi

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between markets and command within the context of the liability rule. It considers how the liability rule is actually employed in the legal world, and in particular in torts and eminent domain. It shows that the liability rule is sometimes used to approach what a free market would do were such a market feasible, and that there are many occasions when use of the liability rule reflects very different aims. It discusses the actual operation of the liability rule as prices, penalties, and assessments in place of a market, a command, and for reasons having to do with its own ideological desirability, respectively. It also explains why liability-rule charges sometimes look like prices, sometimes like penalties, and sometimes like assessments.

Keywords:   markets, command, liability rule, torts, eminent domain, free market, prices, penalties, assessments

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