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Law and economics, or economic analysis of law, is the application of microeconomic theory to the analysis of law. The field emerged in the United States during the early 1960s, primarily from the work of scholars from the Chicago school of economics such as Aaron Director, George Stigler, and Ronald Coase. The field uses economics concepts to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient, and to predict which legal rules will be promulgated. There are two major branches of law and economics; one based on the application of the methods and theories of neoclassical economics to the positive and normative analysis of the law, and a second branch which focuses on an institutional analysis of law and legal institutions, with a broader focus on economic, political, and social outcomes, and overlapping with analyses of the institutions of politics and governance.
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