Graduate Law and Economics I
Spring 2019 GMU Syllabus

Economics 840-001 (#17867), meets Thursday 7:20-10:00pm during Spring 2019, in Carow Hall, Main room.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Associate Professor, Economics (rhanson@gmu.edu, http://hanson.gmu.edu)
Office Hours: Officially Thursday 5:00-7:00p. But I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10A. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 840 Law and Economics I. Credits: 3. Prerequisite: ECON 611 or 811 or permission of instructor. Uses economics to analyze U.S. Common-law system, evaluating efficiency and logic of evolution.
Class Concept
By grad school, students know the drill cold: read assignments, hear lectures, do homework, and spit it all back on the exam. Problem is, just then the game changes from grades to papers; few will care about your grades, compared to your research papers, written and published. A research paper is not a term paper, and can't be dashed off the weekend before it is due. A research paper does not offer a broad overview; it says something specific and new, even if minor, that fits in a context of other research papers.

My class is designed to aid this transition. Instead of covering many topics briefly, we cover fewer deeper. The research paper is half your grade, and can be all your grade if you want. You must choose a model paper early in the semester, write a referee report on it, and present it in class. Then meeting with me frequently one on one, we look for and then create some variation on that model paper.

Assignments: Required Text:

Steven Shavell, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law, Harvard University Press, 2004, ISBN 0674011554

Recommended Texts:
David D. Friedman, Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, Princeton Univ. Press 2000, ISBN 0691090092.
Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen, Law and Economics, Sixth Edition, Addison Wesley 2012, ISBN 0132540711. author web notes
Thomas Miceli, The Economic Approach to Law, Second Edition, Stanford University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780804756709
Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics
24 JanS1-3 Intro, Property
31 Jan Guest Lecture: Ben Schifman
7 Feb Guest Lecture: David Charles
14 FebS4-7 Property
21 Feb no class
28 FebS13-14 Contract
7 Mar Student Presentations
14 Mar Spring Break
21 Mar Midterm
28 MarS15-16 Contract
4 AprS8-10 Accident
11 AprS17-19 Legal Process
18 AprS20-22 Crime
25 AprS23-24 Crime
2 May Student Presentations
9 May Final Exam

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.

This page is on web at http://hanson.gmu.edu/EC840F14.html