Summary of Free Markets and Social Justice

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Free Markets and Social Justice book summary
Where law and economics meet morality and social forces: a thought-provoking analysis of free markets and free people.


6 Overall

5 Applicability

8 Innovation

3 Style


Cass R. Sunstein’s book is a serious piece of scholarship about very engaging legal and social issues concerning economics and law. The book derives both strengths and weaknesses from its beginnings as a series of lectures presented from 1990 to 1995. Each chapter presents a thoughtful thesis, but not all chapters link together in a clearly understandable manner. However, a reader who is prepared to put in the required effort will gain a wealth of thought-provoking material. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone who misses pure intellectual challenge. Lawyers, policy makers and economists are most likely to appreciate it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the marketplace is not really free and depends on rules and regulations
  • How the balance between free markets and social justice affects three areas: foundational issues, rights and regulations


Introduction and Overview
Economic analysis of law is a balancing act. On one side is the theory of free markets; on the other side is the regulation of social issues. Economic analysis of law respects the virtues and benefits of free markets, however, it also recognizes the state’s need...
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About the Author

Cass R. Sunstein is a professor of jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School and Department of Political Science. He is the author of Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech (1993), The Partial Constitution (1993), After the Rights Revolution (1990), and Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict (1996). He is a frequent contributor to The New Republic and The New York Times Book Review.

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