What We Are Reading Today: The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics

Updated 28 June 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics

  • Kaushik Basu demonstrates the connections between social norms and the law and shows how well-conceived ideas can change and benefit human behavior

In The Republic of Beliefs, Kaushik Basu, one of the world’s leading economists, argues that the traditional economic analysis of the law has significant flaws and has failed to answer certain critical questions satisfactorily. 

Why are good laws drafted but never implemented? When laws are unenforced, is it a failure of the law or the enforcers? And, most important, considering that laws are simply words on paper, why are they effective? Basu offers a provocative alternative to how the relationship between economics and real — world law enforcement should be understood. Basu summarizes standard, neoclassical law and economics before looking at the weaknesses underlying the discipline. Bringing modern game theory to bear, he develops a “focal point” approach, modeling not just the self-interested actions of the citizens who must follow laws but also the functionaries of the state — the politicians, judges, and bureaucrats — enforcing them. 

He demonstrates the connections between social norms and the law and shows how well-conceived ideas can change and benefit human behavior. For example, bribe givers and takers will collude when they are treated equally under the law. 

 


The Six: World-famous authors at Emirates Literature Festival

The Emirates Literature Festival is set to run from March 1-9, 2019. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 November 2018
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The Six: World-famous authors at Emirates Literature Festival

DUBAI: Set to run from March 1-9, 2019, the festival boats a stellar lineup of authors, including these famous faces.

Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin is best known for his “Inspector Rebus” detective series, the 22nd of which, “In a House of Lies,” was published in 2018. He is set to speak on stage on March 8 and 9.

Jane Hawking
Stephen Hawking’s wife for more than twenty years, Jane Hawking is a writer and lecturer. Her 2002 memoir, “Traveling to Infinity,” was turned into the critically-acclaimed 2015 movie, “The Theory of Everything.”

Frank Gardner
The renowned British correspondent was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to journalism in 2005 and is set to give a talk on March 9.

Zeina Hashem Beck
The Lebanese poet’s most recent collection, “Louder than Hearts,” won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize.

Aziz Mohammed
The Saudi writer and poet published his debut novel, “The Critical Case of ‘K’,” in 2017 and it was shortlisted for the International Prize for the Arabic Fiction in 2018.

Dubai Abulhoul Alfalasi
The author of “Galagolia,” the first Emirati fantasy novel in English, she is currently writing a series of children’s books on Emirati folklore.