Law and Economics
Economics 415, meets Thursdays 1:30-4:10pm during Spring 2022, in Carow Hall Rm 1.
Spring 2022 GMU Syllabus
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.
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.
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!
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.
David D. Friedman, Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, 1793386722.
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.
Defended Opinion Topics
- Class Participation Please contribute to class discussions.
- Quizzes Three in-class quizzes will given. Each quiz only takes up half of a lecture period. Each quiz will emphasize the lectures and text readings since the previous quiz. Quizzes are open book, open notes.
- Defended Opinions Three times you will write a defense of your opinions on a legal topic. The assigned topics will be unusual, in order to encourage you to think them through yourself, rather than looking up what others have said. Limit your writing to two pages. I will grade on how many relevant points you can make clear.
- Who Gets What Orbits, Asteroids, and Sunlight?
- What remedy for husband unknowingly raising kid not his? <! Contract: When should who be excused from a contract that they signed, because that contract is complex? What remedy and damages for breaching job contract? Enforce Voluntary No-Fault Contract On Pedestrian-Car Accident? >
- Should we require all to get crime voucher, where client-voucher contracts set premiums, punishments, freedoms, and co-liability? <! Should we give convicts option of X years of exile instead of Y years of prison, for some X(Y) schedule? Should private bounty hunters detect and prosecute crime? Crime: Should everyone be required to buy insurance to pay if they commit a crime? Should private bounty hunters detect and prosecute crime?` Pick a punishment plan for punishment level. Tort: Negative Liability for Ratting on Cheating Spouses and Significant Others Negative Liability for Introducing Couples When punish upload copies? sneeze? insult? Crime: Death for copyright violation, and huge bounties for catching? Choose punishment types under private law (e.g., fine, torture, prison, death, prison rape) gun control? >
Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz and paper, 17% final.
- Quizes: 17Feb,24Mar,14Apr
- Defended Opinions: 24Mar,14Apr,5May
- Final: May 12, 4:30-7:15pm.
|Week ||Text Chapters||Lecture Topics || Notes |
|27 Jan||F1-3, P1-2, C1-2|| Law Intro, Econ Review || |
| 3 Feb||F4,C3,4 ||Institutions and Coasean Analysis|| |
|10 Feb||F5,10,P4,C4||Property || |
|17 Feb||F11, C5 ||Property Continued|| Quiz |
|24 Feb||F12, P5, C6||Contract || |
| 3 Mar||F13, P8, C7||Contract continued || |
|10 Mar|| || No Class |
|17 Mar|| ||Spring Recess |
|24 Mar||F14, P6, C8||Tort || Quiz/Paper || |
|31 Mar||F14, P7, C9||Tort, Legal Process || |
| 7 Apr||C10, P16 ||Legal Process || |
|14 Apr||F15, P10, C11|| Crime|| Quiz/Paper |
|21 Apr||F18, P11, C12|| Crime Continued || |
|28 Apr||F17 || No Class || |
| 5 May||F17 ||Private Law || Paper |
|12 May|| ||Final Exam, 4:30-7:15pm. |