Law and Economics
Spring 2022 GMU Syllabus

Economics 415, meets Thursdays 1:30-4:10pm during Spring 2022, in Carow Hall Rm 1.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Email me to arrange a video-chat meeting; suggest a day/time you'd like to meet.

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, 1793386722. 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: Defended Opinion Topics
  1. Who Gets What Orbits, Asteroids, and Sunlight?
  2. What remedy for husband unknowingly raising kid not his?
  3. Should we require all to get crime voucher, where client-voucher contracts set premiums, punishments, freedoms, and co-liability?
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz and paper, 17% final.

Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics Notes
27 JanF1-3, P1-2, C1-2 Law Intro, Econ Review
3 FebF4,C3,4 Institutions and Coasean Analysis
10 FebF5,10,P4,C4Property
17 FebF11, C5 Property Continued Quiz
24 FebF12, P5, C6Contract
3 MarF13, P8, C7Contract continued
10 Mar No Class
17 Mar Spring Recess
24 MarF14, P6, C8Tort Quiz/Paper
31 MarF14, P7, C9Tort, Legal Process
7 AprC10, P16 Legal Process
14 AprF15, P10, C11 Crime Quiz/Paper
21 AprF18, P11, C12 Crime Continued
28 AprF17 No Class
5 MayF17 Private Law Paper
12 May Final Exam, 4:30-7:15pm.