Peter NobelZur Koexistenz von Recht und Ökonomie

Nobel Peter, Zur Koexistenz von Recht und Ökonomie: Ökonomische Analyse des Rechts als Aufforderung zum Dialog, in: DUBS/HANDGARTNER/NYDEGGER (Hrsg.), Der Kanton St. Gallen und seine Hochschule, Beiträge zur Eröffnung des Bibliothekbaus, St. Gallen 1989, S. 454 ff.


The essay “Zur Koexistenz von Recht und Ökonomie” by Peter Nobel is a contribution to the opening of the construction of the library at the University of St. Gallen in 1989 and is part of the commemorative publication, which was dedicated to the artistically designed and well-equipped extension of the University.


In the above commemorative publication (“Festschrift”), Prof. Dr. Peter Nobel advocates an intensification of the dialogue between economists and jurists. Prof. Nobel envisages not only a professional dispute, but also a real dialogue on the individual’s position in today’s society. The economic analysis of law serves as the starting point for this dialogue.

Prof. Nobel is of the opinion that the economic theory of law is merely a theory of the economy about law. The latter absorbs the significance of law as a variable of economic theory and thereby adds an instrument of observation to the jurists’ toolbox.

The economic theory of law is, however, not capable of prescribing a social target system. Nevertheless, it improves the dialogue within the social sciences, which law belongs to as well.

In particular in times where increasing normative density is becoming a problem, it seems worthwhile to think about the prerequisites of legislation. A jurist may not lag behind with regard to possible methods of analysis; rather, he or she must comprehensively question the necessity of legislation; a jurist may also not support antiquated economic concepts. With the help of economics, jurists can try to verify whether envisaged effects are possible and if proposed rules can be deemed efficient from an economic perspective.

(“The economic analysis of law can contribute to the jurist’s self-understanding as well as to the mutual understanding between the two disciplines.”)


You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Nobel Peter – Zur Koexistenz von Recht und Ökonomie