Professor Thomas Miceli has published The Paradox of Punishment: Reflections on the Economics of Criminal Justice.
From the publisher:
This book explores the insights that can be gained by looking at the criminal justice system from an economic point of view. It provides an economic analysis of the institutional structure and function of the criminal justice system, how its policies are formulated, and how they affect behavior.
Yet it goes beyond an examination of specific policies to address the broad question of how law influences behavior. For example, it examines how concepts such as the possibility of redemption affect the decisions of repeat offenders, and whether individual responsibility is (or should be) a pre-requisite for punishment. Finally, the book argues that, in addition to the threat of criminal sanctions, law inculcates principles of acceptable behavior among citizens by asserting that certain acts are “against the law.” This “expressive function” of law can influence behavior to the extent that at least some people in society are receptive to such a message. For these people, the moral content of law has more than mere symbolic value, and consequently, it can expand the scope of traditional law enforcement while lowering its cost.
Another goal of the book is therefore to use economic theory to assess this dualistic function of law by specifically recognizing how its policies can both internalize an ethic of obedience to the law among some people irrespective of its consequences, while simultaneously threatening to punish those who only respond to external incentives.
Law and Economics: Private and Public, a coursebook by Professor Thomas Miceli and co-authors, is now available. From the publisher:
This accessible volume integrates wide-ranging economic methodologies with a vast array of legal subjects. Coverage includes the first-year law school curriculum along with institutions and doctrines comprising the core foundation of upper level legal study. Dedicated chapters introduce neoclassical economics, interest group theory, social choice, and game theory, and the book intersperses alternative methodological insights.
The analysis synthesizes these methodologies with modern and classic case law, other legal materials, and policy discussions inspired by current events. Ideal for a law school seminar or capstone course, this unique volume is also perfectly suited for business school courses on legal methods and public policy. Professors will find a rich array of materials adaptable to varying pedagogical styles and substantive areas of emphasis. Students exploring these materials will emerge with a deeper understanding of law and economics and a greater appreciation of our lawmaking institutions.
Law and economics is the field of study devoted to understanding laws and legal institutions using the tools of economic theory. This growing subject has become a mainstream area of study in both law schools and economics departments and this book explores the “law and economics” approach to some of the most interesting questions, issues, and topics in law, order, and justice.
Contemporary Issues in Law and Economics considers what economists call the “positive” analysis of the law – that is, using economic theory to explain the nature of the law as it actually exists. As part of this approach the author examines questions such as, what is the economic basis for the predominance of negligence rules in tort law? And, what is the explanation for the illegality of blackmail? Furthermore, another set of questions arises where the law seems to depart from the prescriptions of economic theory, and these issues are also examined in this volume. For example, the deeply rooted norm of proportionality between punishments and crimes, and the use of escalating penalties for repeat offenders, are both explored.
With self-contained chapters written in a non-technical style, this book offers a rigorous discussion of the above themes while remaining accessible to those without formal legal or economic training. It offers the ideal introduction to the field of law and economics while also providing a basis for students in more advanced courses.
Stanford University Press has just published the third edition of Thomas J. Miceli’s Law and Economics textbook.
From the publisher:
“Master teacher Thomas J. Miceli provides an introduction to law and economics that reveals how economic principles can explain the structure of the law and make it more efficient.
The third edition of this seminal textbook is thoroughly updated to include recent cases and the latest scholarship, with particular attention paid to torts, contracts, property rights, and the economics of crime. A new chapter organization, ideal for quarter- or semester-long courses, strengthens the book’s focus on unifying themes in the field.
As Miceli tells a cohesive, analytical “story” about law from a distinctly economic perspective, exercises and problems encourage students to deepen their knowledge.”
An article on land assembly in developing countries published in the May 2nd-8th 2015 edition of The Economist cited a paper by economics professors Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson. The article discusses problems developing countries face in assembling land for large-scale economic development projects.
The author writes, “A theoretical model set out in a paper published in 2011 by Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson of the University of Connecticut shows that when a buyer has to negotiate in sequence with sellers of contiguous plots of land, the price of each successive sale will rise. Landowners know the project cannot proceed unless the buyer acquires all the plots he needs. The more he acquires, the greater the cost of abandoning the project. The ransom those yet to sell can demand increases accordingly.”
The article referred to is “Land Assembly and the Holdout Problem Under Sequential Bargaining,” which was published in the American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 14 (2012): 372-390.