Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.

Nicholas Mercuro

Nicholas Mercuro
[Hi-Res Photo]
Professor of Law in Residence
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 321
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
517-432-6978
mercuro@law.msu.edu

Ph.D. 1977, Michigan State University; M.B.A. 1970, Seton Hall University; B.A. 1967, Pennsylvania State University

  • Law and Economics
    (Formerly DCL 443) Law and Economics, (alternatively named "the economics of legal relationships" or perhaps more accurately, "the economic analysis of law") is defined as the application of economic theory – primarily microeconomics and the basic concepts of welfare economics – to examine the formation, structure, processes, and the economic impact of law and legal institutions. The purpose of this course is to: (1) provide a brief review of microeconomic theory sufficient to (2) undertake a survey (the history, the people, and their ideas) of the dominant schools of thought that comprise the field of Law and Economics including i) the Chicago approach to law and economics, ii) the New Haven school, iii) public choice theory, iv) social norms and Law and Economics, v) Austrian law and economics, vi) institutional law and economics, and vii) the new institutional economics. Each of these schools of thought places a significant emphasis on the interrelations between law and economy. The goal is to have you understand the jurisprudential niche occupied by these several schools of thought and their impact on present-day legal scholarship... to get a sense of the “lay of the land;” no attempt is made to critique the schools or the ideas contained therein. The materials covered in this class are of fundamental importance not only for those working in the fields of economics and law, but also to those in the contiguous disciplines of political science, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Prerequisite: an understanding of the principles of microeconomics.

With a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's degree in business administration, and a doctorate in resource development, Professor Mercuro brings a wealth of education and experience to his position at MSU College of Law. He has served on the economics and finance faculty at the University of New Orleans, where he also served as the Associate Dean of the Division of International Education. For eight years he was also a member of the adjunct faculty of Tulane Law School where he taught Law and Economics.

He has extensive international experience as well. In 1987, Dr. Bruno Kreisky, Chancellor of Austria, named Professor Mercuro to the Kreisky Commission on Employment Issues in Europe. He was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Economic Theory at the University of Vienna; he taught and engaged in research at the Free University of Berlin as a Fulbright Scholar. More recently, Professor Mercuro served as a Guest Professor at Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie, Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan, France. Not long thereafter, he was on sabbatical at Université de Droit, d'Economie et des Sciences d'Aix Marseille, Faculté d'Economie Appliquée, Aix en Provence, France.

In 1997, Professor Mercuro accepted a university-wide professorship at Michigan State University; in 2002 was named Professor of Law in Residence at MSU College of Law. He is the founder and is the co-series editor of a book series - The Economics of Legal Relationships, now sponsored by the MSU College of Law. Most recently, he joined the faculty of James Madison College. He has taught courses throughout the university in addition to designing two international summer programs - one in Law and Economics in London; the other, the Opera, Art and Language program in Bregenz, Austria. He has organized several art exhibitions at the law school; he initiated the four Analytical Methods for Lawyers courses for the law college in 2005; and he regularly teaches the Law and Economics seminar at MSU Law.

Digital Commons Publications »

SSRN Author Page »

Books

Alternative Institutional Structures: Evolution and Impact, Nicholas Mercuro and Sandra S. Batie eds., (Routledge Press, 2008)

Law and Economics (Critical Concepts in Law / Routledge Major Work, 5-volumes), Nicholas Mercuro, ed., (Routledge Press, 2007)

Economics and the Law: From Posner to Post-Modernism and Beyond, Nicholas Mercuro and Steven G. Medema, (Princeton University Press, 2006, 2nd edition)

The Meaning and Role of the Market - thematic issue of Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines (Bilingual Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Nicholas Mercuro and Warren J. Samuels, eds., (Vol. 14, No. 2, December 2004 - came into print March 2006)

Law and Economics: Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues Margaret Oppenheimer and Nicholas Mercuro, eds., (M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2005)

Fundamental Interrelationships Between Government and Property, Nicholas Mercuro and Warren J. Samuels, eds., Policy Studies Organization (JAI Press, 1999)

Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed. (University Press of America, 1997, 2nd edition)

Economics and the Law: From Posner to Post-Modernism, Nicholas Mercuro and Steven G. Medema, (Princeton University Press, 1997)

Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, Franklin Lopez, and Kristian Preston (University Press of America, 1994)

Taking Property and Just Compensation: Law and Economics Perspectives of the Takings Issue, Nicholas Mercuro, ed., (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992)

Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed., (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989)

Law, Economics, and Public Policy, Nicholas Mercuro and Timothy P. Ryan. (JAI Press, 1984)

Book Chapters

A Dialogue on Institutions: Assessing the Evolution and Impact of Alternative Institutional Structures, Nicholas Mercuro and Sandra S. Batie, in Alternative Institutional Structures: Evolution and Impact (Nicholas Mercuro and Sandra S. Batie, eds., Routledge Press, 2008)

Law and Economics—Making the Case for a Broader Approach, Margaret Oppenheimer and Nicholas Mercuro in Law and Economics: Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal And Regulatory Issues (Margaret Oppenheimer and Nicholas Mercuro, eds., Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2005)

A Comparative Institutional Approach to Law and Economics – Theory and Applications: The Environment, Natural Resources, and Land-Use, Nicholas Mercuro in Law and Economics: Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues (Margaret Oppenheimer & Nicholas Mercuro, eds., Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2005)

Robert Lee Hale -- Legal Economist, Nicholas Mercuro, Steven G. Medema, and Warren J. Samuels in The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Jürgen G. Backhaus, ed., (Edgar Elgar Publishers, 2005, 2nd edition).

Relevant Output Categories for a Comparative Institutional Approach to Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, in Economics Broadly Considered: Essays in Honor of Warren J. Samuels, Steven G. Medema, ed. (Routledge Press, 2001)

The Common Law, Efficiency, and American Institutional Law and Economics , Nicholas Mercuro, in Le droit dans l'action économique, Thierry Kirat and Evelyne Serverin eds., (Paris, France: CNRS Editions, 2000)

Interdisciplinary Paradigms for Environmental Policy: Interrelations Among Ecology, Law, and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, in Property Rights, Economics, and the Environment, Michael Kaplowitz, ed., (JAI Press, 2000)

Institutional Law and Economics, Steven G. Medema, Nicholas Mercuro, and Warren J. Samuels, in The Encyclopedia of Law & Economics, Boudewijn Bouckaert and Gerrit de Geest, eds., (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2000)

Robert Lee Hale -- Legal Economist, Nicholas Mercuro, Steven G. Medema, and Warren J. Samuels in The Elgar Companion to Law & Economics, Jürgen G. Backhaus, ed., (Edgar Elgar Publishers,1999)

A Retrospective Interpretive Essay on the Diverse Approaches to the Fundamental Interrelationships Between Government and Property, Nicholas Mercuro and Warren J. Samuels, in Fundamental Interrelationships Between Government and Property, Nicholas Mercuro and Warren J. Samuels, eds., Policy Studies Organization (JAI Press, 1999)

American Institutional Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro in Commentaries on Law and Economics, Robert W. McGee, ed., The Dumont Institute for Public Policy Research (Bookmasters, 1997)

Chapter 1, Introduction to Ecology, Law and Economics – The Economy, Nicholas Mercuro, in Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed. (University Press of America, 1997, 2nd edition)

Chapter 3, The State & the Integration of Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, in Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed. (University Press of America, 1997, 2nd edition)

Chapter 6, Environmental Economic Remedies, Nicholas Mercuro, in Ecology, Law and Economics Nicholas Mercuro, ed. (University Press of America, 1997, 2nd edition)

Chapter 7, Engineering for a Better Environment: Integrative Paradigms, Franklin Lopez and Nicholas Mercuro, in Ecology, Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed. (University Press of America, 1997, 2nd edition)

Schools of Thought in Law and Economics: A Kuhnian Competition, Nicholas Mercuro and Steven G. Medema in Law and Economics: New and Critical Perspectives, Robin Paul Malloy and Christopher K. Braun eds., Series Title: Critic of Institutions, (Peter Lang Publishers, 1995)

The Takings Issue: A Continuing Dilemma in Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro in Taking Property and Just Compensation: Law and Economics Perspectives of the Takings Issue, Nicholas Mercuro, ed., (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992)

Towards a Comparative Institutional Approach to the Study of Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, in Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro, ed., (Kluwer Academic Publishing, 1989)

A Critique of Rent-Seeking Theory, Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro in Neoclassical Political Economy, David C. Collander, ed., (Ballinger Publishing Co., 1984)

Property Rights, Equity, and Public Utility Pricing, Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro, in New Dimensions in Public Utility Pricing, H. Trebing, ed., (East Lansing: MSU Public Utility Papers, Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University, 1976)

Law Review Articles

Performance Indicators for Natural Resource and Environmental Policy: Contributions from American Institutional Law and Economics, Nicholas Mercuro and Michael D. Kaplowitz, Vol. 11, No.1 Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum 139 (Fall 2000)

Ownership Structure, Value of the Firm and the Bargaining Power of the Manager, Nicholas Mercuro, Haralambos Sourbis, and Gerald Whitney, Vol. 59, No.2 Southern Economic Journal 273 (October 1992)

Wealth Maximization and Judicial Decision-Making: The Issues Further Clarified, Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 6, No. 1 International Review of Law and Economics 133 (June 1986)

Posnerian Law and Economics on the Bench, Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 4, No. 2 International Review of Law and Economics 107 (December 1984)

"The Resolution of the Compensation Problem in Society – Part II," Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 2 Research in Law and Economics, 103 (1980)

"The Role and Resolution of the Compensation Principle in Society, Part I - The Role," Warren J. Samuels and Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 1 Research in Law and Economics, 157 (1979) ... Reprinted in Law and Economics: An Institutional Perspective, Warren J. Samuels and A. Allan Schmid, eds., (Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, 1980)

Other Articles

The Market - What Lies Beneath? Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 14, No. 2, Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines 21 (December 2004 / came into print March 2006)

“Government’s Touch Pervades Technology,” Nicholas Mercuro Vol. 2, No. 3, FED TECH 16 (August 2005)

Property Rights and Welfare Economics: Miller et al. v. Schoene Revisited: Reply, Nicholas Mercuro and Timothy P. Ryan, Vol. 57, No. 4 Land Economics 657 (November 1981)

Mit dem Rotstift auf der Jagd: Reagans Wirtschaftsprogram stosst zunehmend auf Widerstande, in Die Furche, No. 39 (Vienna, Austria) (September 1981)

Property Rights and Welfare Economics: Miller et al. v. Schoene Revisited, Nicholas Mercuro and Timothy P. Ryan, Vol. 56, No. 2 Land Economics 202 (May 1980)

The Role of Nonattenuated Rights in Positive Economics: A Critical Appraisal , Nicholas Mercuro and Timothy P. Ryan, Vol. 13, No. 4 Journal of Economic Issues 1007 (December 1979)

Energy Supply and Consumption in Orleans Parish, Nicholas Mercuro and A. M. Agapos, Vol. 11, No. 4 Louisiana Business Survey 12, 13, 15 (October 1980)

Resources, Residuals and Irreversible Land Conversions: Prototype Management Instruments, Thomas C. Edens and Nicholas Mercuro, Design and Management of Rural Ecosystems Monograph (Michigan State University Press, July 1976)

Methodology for Space-Time Analysis, David L. Jameson, Nicholas Mercuro, et al., in Ecosystem Impacts of Urbanization: Assessment Methodology, D. L. Jameson, ed., Ecological Research Series (EPA 600/3-76-072) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Corvallis, Oregon (July 1976)

Book Reviews

Book Review Essay: “They May Not Be ‘Origins,’ But They Are ‘Contributions’ (for the most part).” The Origins of Law and Economics: Essays by the Founding Fathers, Francesco Parisi and Charles K. Rowley, eds., in Vol. 25-A Research in the History of Economic Thought & Methodology 129 (2007)

Review of After the Rights Revolution: Reconceiveing the Regulatory State, Cass R. Sunstein, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), in Vol.25, No.1 Journal of Economic Issues 1191 (December 1991)

Review of Research in Law and Economics: Normative Law and Economics, Vol. 7, Richard O. Zerbe, Jr. ed., (Greenwich: JAI Press, 1985) in Vol. 20, No. 4 Journal of Economic Issues 146 (December 1986)

Contributions to Law and Economics: A Survey of Recent Books, Nicholas Mercuro, Vol. 17, No. 4 Journal of Economic Education 295 (Fall 1986)

Review of Ethics, Economics, and the Law, J. Roland Pennock and John W. Chapman, eds., (New York: New York University Press, 1982) in Vol. 42, No. 2 Review of Social Economy 192 (October 1984)

Review of Corporate Performance: The Key to Public Trust, Francis W. Steckmest, (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982) in Vol. 64, No. 4 Social Science Quarterly 905 (December 1983)

Review of The Economics of Natural Resources, Richard Lecomber, (John Wiley and Sons, 1979), in Vol. 47, No. 1 Southern Economic Journal 265 (July 1980)

Review of When Values Conflict, L.H. Tribe, et al. eds., (Ballinger Publishing Co., 1976), in Vol. 12, No. 1 Journal of Economic Issues 187 (March 1978)

Review of Environmental Controls, R. A. Leone, (Lexington: Lexington Books, 1976), in Vol. 12, No. 3 Review of Business and Economic Research 91 (Spring 1977)


Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.