Law and Economics
Fall 2015 GMU Syllabus

Economics 415-002 (#81175), meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:45am during Fall 2015, in Art and Design Building, Room L008.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Tuesdays 4-7p, but I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10B. Email or call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure I'll be in, or you want to meet somewhere besides my office.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 415 Law and Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ECON 306 or permission of instructor. An economic analysis of the law. Topics include an introduction to legal institutions and legal analysis; application of economic concepts to the law of property, contracts and torts, criminal law, and constitutional law; the economic efficiency of the common law; and a public choice perspective on the evolution of the law.
Required Texts:
David D. Friedman, Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, Princeton Univ. Press 2001, ISBN 9780691090092.
Recommended Text:

A. Mitchell Polinsky, Introduction To Law and Economics, 4th Edition Aspen Publishers, 2011, ISBN 9780735584488.

Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen, Law and Economics, Sixth Edition, Addison Wesley 2013, ISBN 9780132540650
Goal of Class
Gain familiarity with basic facts and issues in the economics of law, and an ability to use basic economics to argue for particular legal outcomes.
Assignments: Legal Opinion Topics
  1. Property: What rules for space property, including how things get owned, what exactly it is that is owned, and what happens after collisions.
  2. Contract: What remedy or damages for kid from cuckoldry?
  3. Crime: Should private bounty hunters investigate and prosecute crime?
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz and paper, 17% final.

Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics
1, 3 SeptF1-3, P1-2, C1-2 Law Intro, Economics Review
8,10 Sept C3 Law and Legal Institutions
15,17 SeptF4, C4 Coasean Analysis
22,24 SeptF5,10, P4, C4 Property
29 Sept, 1 OctF11, C5 Property Continued
6, 8 Oct F12, P5, C6 Contract
15 Oct Contract Continued No Class Tuesday
20,22 Oct F13, P8, C7 Contract Continued
27,29 Oct F14, P6, C8 Tort
3, 5 Nov Tort Continued No Class Tuesday
10,12 Nov F14, P7, C9 Tort and Legal Process
17,19 Nov C10, P16 Legal Process
24 Nov F15, P10, C11 No Class this week
1, 3 Dec F18, P11, C12 Crime
8,10 Dec F17 Private Law No Class Tuesday
15 Dec Final Exam, 10:30am-1:15pm.

Disability Notice

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.