Gerard HertigEuropean Community

Gerard Hertig, European Community, in: International Review of Law and Economics, 11 (1991), p. 331-342.


This paper was published in the “International Review of Law and Economics”, a Journal that provides a forum for interdisciplinary research at the interface of Law and Economics.

Prof. Dr. Gerard Hertig’s has written an essay that is built upon a previous paper that he wrote, entitled “Switzerland”, which was published in the same Journal. It focuses on the economic integration within the European Community (EC) and its impact on the Law and Economics movement.

To evaluate the prospects for an EC Law and Economics movement, Prof. Hertig undertakes a three-stage analysis. The analysis is divided into three chapters: “the obstacles”, “the mitigating factors” and “the prospects”.

In the first chapter, Prof. Hertig identifies three main obstacles to the development of a Law and Economics movement at the EC level: (1) The powers conferred to the EU by the Rome treaty are limited; (2) a political consensus is harder to achieve in the EC than in a sovereign state (and thus compromises are favored over efficient legal solutions); and (3) lawyers are still not very concerned with economic issues.

In the next chapter, he explains three factors that can mitigate the aforementioned obstacles. These include the fact that the EC has powers in some areas, political constraints are not an EC characteristic and, finally, there are well trained economists working on an EC level. Prof. Hertig concludes his analysis with an emphasis on the prospects. In his view, there are no insurmountable obstacles to the development of an EC Law and Economics movement, and the mitigating factors could outweigh the obstacles. Therefore, Prof. Hertig is confident that there is a positive climate for the development of an EC Law and Economics movement.

In the last chapter, Prof. Hertig provides a short summary in which he reiterates his main points.


You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Hertig Gérard – European Community