Margaret (Peg) Brinig has made a massive contribution to family law over the course of the past thirty-five years. Spanning the two fields of economics and law, her views have evolved over time to ones that see family as a matter of covenant. The concept of a covenant is mostly unknown in the modern secular world and is absent in economics. Without (hopefully) changing Brinig’s meaning, I reinterpret her work and argue that her concept of a covenant is equivalent to the economist’s understanding of an institution. The goal of reinterpreting her work in light of institutional economics is to make it more accessible to economists and to provide additional transaction-cost insight into why a covenant is so important.
Douglas W. Allen,
The Institutional Economics of Marriage: A Reinterpretation of Margaret Brinig's Contribution to Family Law,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol95/iss4/5