Sustained growth depends on innovation, whether it's cutting-edge software from Silicon Valley, an improved assembly line in Sichuan, or a new export market for Swaziland's leather. Developing a new idea requires money, which poses a problem of trust. The innovator must trust the investor with his idea and the investor must trust the innovator with her money. Robert Cooter and Hans-Bernd Schfer call this the "double trust dilemma of development." Nowhere is this problem more acute than in poorer nations, where the failure to solve it results in stagnant economies. In Solomon's Knot, Cooter and Schfer propose a legal theory of economic growth that details how effective property, contract, and business laws help to unite capital and ideas. They also demonstrate why ineffective private and business laws are the root cause of the poverty of nations in today's world. Without the legal institutions that allow innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive, other attempts to spur economic growth are destined to fail.
Robert D. Cooter is the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include The Strategic Constitution (Princeton). Hans-Bernd Schafer is professor of law and economics at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, and professor emeritus at the University of Hamburg. His books include The Economic Analysis of Civil Law.
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Chapter 1: It's about the Economy 1 Chapter 2: The Economic Future of the World 13 Chapter 3: The Double Trust Dilemma of Development 27 Chapter 4: Make or Take 39 Chapter 5: The Property Principle for Innovation 50 Chapter 6: Keeping What You Make--Property Law 64 Chapter 7: Doing What You Say--Contracts 82 Chapter 8: Giving Credit to Credit--Finance and Banking 101 Chapter 9: Financing Secrets--Corporations 123 Chapter 10: Hold or Fold--Financial Distress 142 Chapter 11: Termites in the Foundation--Corruption 159 Chapter 12:Poverty Is Dangerous--Accidents and Liability 179 Chapter 13: Academic Scribblers and Defunct Economists 193 Chapter 14: How the Many Overcome the Few 211 Chapter 15: Legalize Freedom--Conclusion 223 Notes 229 Bibliography 299 Index 313