The pioneering work of Judge Richard Posner has brought to light the broad relevance of economics to virtually all areas of law. During the last three decades, Judge Posner has provided seminal contributions to the development of an overarching economic theory of law, with applications including traditional legal subjects, such as torts and contracts, as well as non-standard topics, such as his study of primitive law and ancient customs. This selection of Posner's essays reveals the importance of economic efficiency as a driving force in the formation of private law. The rigorous and insightful introduction by Francisco Parisi discusses Posner's unparalleled influence on the evolution of law and economics and the understanding of the economic foundations of private law. In particular he discusses: * anthropology and the emergence of law * tort law * contract law * family law * the economics of privacy. The Economics of Private Law will be essential reading for economists, lawyers and judges alike.