This work illustrates how economic tools can be used to examine real legal decisions and assess alternative courses of action. It is a self-contained book, requiring no prior study in economics or law, and is accessible to intermediate and advanced undergraduates in law and economics, practitioners, and the general reader. The book is designed to fill the gap between books that examine legal issues from an idealized abstract economics perspective and purely legal treatises that discuss applications of the law to specific economic issues. Organized around contemporary case material from US, UK and European Union courts, the book focuses on how the courts have defined and redefined property rights in specific contexts and what measures they have adopted to protect these rights and to punish infringements. While discussing exemplary rulings in areas such as intellectual property rights, antitrust law, and employment law, the book describes conceptual and ethical problems encountered in applying economics to legal decisions. A wide range of student applications demonstrate the nexus between economic, legal and ethical considerations that inform legal decision-making, and allows students to develop their skill in analyzing legal decisions.
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