Law and Economics
Spring 2024 GMU Syllabus

Economics 415, meets Tuesdays, Thursdays 1:30-2:45pm during Spring 2024, in Carow Hall main room.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Assoc. Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Email me to 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 2000, ISBN 0691090092. Free online here.
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 online 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. TBD
  2. TBD
  3. TBD
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 12% per Quiz and paper, 23% final.

Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics Notes
16,18 JanF1-4,P1-2,C1-4Intro
23,25 JanF5,10,P4,C4 Property
30Jan,1FebF11,C5 Property Quiz Thursday
6,8 Feb No Class
13,15 FebF12,P5,C6 Contract
20,22 FebF13,P8,C7 Contract
27,29 FebF11,C5 No Class
5,7 Mar Spring Recess
12,14 MarF14,P6,C8 Tort Quiz/Paper Tuesday
19,21 MarF14,P7,C9 Tort
26,28 MarC10,P16 Legal Process Quiz/Paper Thursday
2,4 AprC10,P16 Legal Process
9,11 AprF15,P10,C11 Crime No Class Thursday
16,18 AprF18,P11,C12 Crime Paper Due Thursday
23,25 AprF17 Private Law
7 May Final Exam 1:30-4:15pm