Law and Economics
Fall 2017 GMU Syllabus

Economics 415-001 (#74486), meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:45am during Fall 2017, in Robinson Hall B, Room 111.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Tuesdays 9:15-10:15am, but I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10A. Email or call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure I'll be in.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 415 Law and Economics. Credits 3 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 Text:
David D. Friedman, Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, Princeton Univ. Press 2001, ISBN 9780691090092. Free online!
Recommended Texts:

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. Free here!
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: Who Gets What Orbits, Asteroids, and Sunlight?
  2. Contract: What remedy or damages for cuckoldry leading to kid?
  3. Crime: Should private bounty hunters detect and prosecute crime?
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz and paper, 17% final.

Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics Notes
29,31 Aug F1-3, P1-2, C1-2 Law Intro, Econ Review
5,7 Sep No Class This Week
12,14 Sep C3 Law and Legal Institutions
19,21 SepF4, C4 Coasean Analysis
26,28 SepF5,10, P4, C4 Property Quiz Tuesday
3,5 OctF11, C5 Property Continued
10,12 Oct Contract No Class Tuesday
17,19 OctF12, P5, C6 Contract continued
24,26 Oct F13, P8, C7 Tort Quiz/Paper Thursday
31 Oct, 2 Nov F14, P6, C8 Tort Continued
7,9 Nov F14, P7, C9 Legal Process
14,16 Nov C10, P16 No class Tuesday, Quiz/Paper Thursday
21 Nov F15, P10, C11 Legal Process, Crime No Class Thursday
28,30 Nov F18, P11, C12 Crime continued
5, 7 Dec F17 Private Law Paper Thursday
19 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.