Preprints aus der Max-Planck-Projektgruppe Recht der Gemeinschaftsgüter No. 2003/3
Recent developments in economics and the science of law emphasize their cooperation for a better understanding of social structures and interactions, an effective application of social scientific knowledge and a rational evaluation and implementation of social norms. There are, however, difficult methodological problems in this project : Whereas economics is mainly (with the exception of welfare economics) an empirical science which collects information about economic activities and the functioning of the economic system, the science of law is a normative discipline aiming at solving social conflicts and establishing rational principles for judicial decisions. This paper elaborates on a three level-scheme for the interdisciplinary cooperation of law and economics addressing the different problems positive and normative economics face when applying economic knowledge on legal matters. The economic analysis of law is proposed as a model for a general transformation of the traditionally hermeneutical jurisprudence into an analytic normative science of law based on theoretical explanation and rational evaluation of the consequences of legal rules and principles.