Law and Economics
Fall 2019 GMU Syllabus

Economics 415-001 (#82804), meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-10:15am during Fall 2018, in Carow Hall, Room 01.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am, 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
David D. Friedman, Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, unpublished. 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. Who Gets What Orbits, Asteroids, and Sunlight
  2. What remedy or damages for cuckoldry leading to kid?
  3. 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
27,29 AugF1-3, P1-2, C1-2 Law Intro, Econ Review
3,5 SepF4,C3,4 Institutions and Coasean Analysis
10,12 SepF5,10,P4,C4Property
17,19 SepF11, C5 Property Continued
24,26 SepF12, P5, C6 Contract
1,3 OctF13, P8, C7Contract continued Quiz Thursday
8,10 OctF14, P6, C8 Tort
15,17 OctF14, P7, C9 Tort Continued No Class Tuesday
22,24 OctC10, P16Legal Process
29,31 OctC10, P16Legal Process Continued Quiz/Paper Thursday
5,7 NovF15, P10, C11 Crime No Class Thursday
12,15 NovF18, P11, C12 Crime Continued
19,21 Nov Crime Continued Quiz/Paper Thursday,
26,28 NovF17 Private Law No Class Thursday
3, 5 Dec TBD Paper Due Thursday
12 Dec Final Exam, 7:30am-10:10am.