On Consequential and Normative Analysis of Law: A Critical View of Alf Ross’s Legacy

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Two views, inspired by Alf Ross, are sometimes raised against law and economics. One is that consequential analysis has no role in legal science, the task of which is to predict court verdicts. The other is that normative criteria involving fairness or social welfare are meaningless. I argue that the former view rests on a misreading of Ross, who in fact called for the development of law and economics. As for normative criteria, I argue in favor of a pragmatic approach, which inquires whether normative concepts can affect our views of the desirability of a legal rule or verdict.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKritisk Juss
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)193–207
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Alf Ross
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Pragmatism

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