“’Lost in Translation’? Towards a Theory of Economic Transplants”

The rise of economics as one of the main (some will advance the most important) “source” of competition law discourse is well documented. This study focuses on a facet of the integration of economic analysis in competition law: "economic transplants". The term “economic transplants” refers to specific economic concepts that were incorporated into the legal discourse by an act of “translation”. They represent the ultimate degree of interaction between the legal and the economic systems. Using a paradigmatic approach the study examines their specific characteristics and what distinguishes them from other forms of integration of economic analysis in competition law. It critically assesses their role and their impact on the legal and the economic discourses. The study concludes that the “paradigm” of translation constitutes the most appropriate explanatory framework for taking into account the dual nature of economic transplants and, more broadly, for conceptualizing the interaction of law with other social sciences. It should be distinguished from the existing methodologies of interaction between the disciplines of law and economics, such as the concept of “economic law” and the law and economics approach.