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Published as Chapter 16 in Cambridge History of Law in America, Volume 3: The Twentieth Century and After (1920–), Michael Grossberg & Christopher Tomlins, eds.
The brief recounting of the American economy in the twenties and thirties raises obvious questions about law and economic change. Economic change is the shift from one enacted, in both senses, understanding of economic life to another, in the case of the short twentieth century, from an associationalist economy to an impatient economy. This chapter explicates this economic change, and interrogates it in order to understand the role of law in its occurrence. Despite the essential indeterminacy of law's reaction to smaller scale economic change, a few underlying attitudes can be teased out, one can identify law's general attitude toward change, its attitude toward technological as opposed to cost-driven change, and its attitude toward system-wide change. First, with respect to law's general attitude toward smaller scale economic change, it is important to remember that there are three possible answers that law might regularly give when economic actors seek its aid stonewall change, support it indiscriminately, or slow it down somewhat.
Cambridge University Press
Economics | Law | Law and Society | Legal History
John Henry Schlegel, Law and Economic Change During the Short Twentieth Century, in Cambridge History of Law in America 3 563 (Michael Grossberg & Christopher Tomlins, eds., Cambridge University Press 2008)