LPE Originals

Against the Economic Pie: How Economic “Maximizing” Skews Legal Analysis

Should law maximize or divide the “economic pie”? Law students learn that smart thinking begins by asking this question. But this question skews legal analysis against a political economy perspective. It implicitly presumes a hierarchy where an abstract idea of economic gain normally stands above and beyond political and moral concerns, bigger in size and…

LPE Originals

Toward a Law and Political Economy of Gender Violence

What does political economy have to do with the issue of gender violence that roiled Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation?  One answer is that law should not separate economics from the social inequalities that mediate power.  Violent enforcement of social hierarchies has long been a core capitalist strategy for securing selective economic advantage, as Angela Harris…

LPE Originals

Economic Human Rights, Not Tough Policy Tradeoffs

According to conventional law and economics wisdom, problems of economic inequality are best solved with targeted redistributive spending, not universal human economic rights. A political economy perspective suggests the opposite: that legal rights are crucial for economic justice. Orthodox law and economics tellsus: all rights have a cost.  Law allocates economic gain, but cannot generate…