Law & Economics is the economic analysis of the law. As Kaplow and Shavell state: «Economic analysis of law seeks to answer two basic questions about legal rules. Namely, what are the effects of legal rules on the behaviour of relevant actors? And are these effects of legal rules socially desirable?».
The interface between law and economics, entrenched since the ’70s in the U.S. scientific and professional culture, stands nowadays as the new frontier of social sciences in Europe. Economic models do not really interpret or predict human actions; yet, they retain intuitive appeal because they display a “scientific” version of normal psychology. In a sense, the “discovery” that the law appears to be driven by an underlying economic logic may appear all too obvious. Given that the vocation of law is to provide general rules to govern human behavior, it is no surprise that law and economics was such a fruitful match; the only real question is why it took so long for the two to find each other.
LUISS “Guido Carli” has been over time in the forefront of the offer of interdisciplinary approaches, as witnessed by the comprehensive training programme in Law and Economics for Ph.D. students, operative since the end of the last millennium. This endeavor aims to further implement the wariness about the necessity to understand law through the lens of economics, and to realize that “legal rules do matter”, even from a strictly economic perspective. The ultimate goal is create a multi-faceted competence, for which there exists a growing demand in both the professional market and the academic environment.