Graduate Law and Economics
Spring 20223 GMU Syllabus

Economics 840, meets in person Tuesdays 7:20-10:00pm during Spring 2022, in Carow Hall, Room 01.

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

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 2013, ISBN 9780132540650. Online here
Thomas Miceli, The Economic Approach to Law, Second Edition, Stanford University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780804756709
David D. Friedman, Legal Systems Very Different From Ours, 1793386722. Free online!
Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics Notes
24 JanS1-3 Intro, Property
31 JanS4-7 Property
7 Feb No Class
14 FebS4-7 Property
21 FebS13-14 Contract
28 FebS15-16 Contract Model paper due
7 Mar Student Presentations Referee report due
14 Mar Spring Recess
21 MarS8-10 Accident
28 MarS17-19 Legal Process Concept meeting due
4 AprS17-19 Legal Process
11 AprS20-22 Crime
18 AprS23-24 Crime
25 Apr No Class
2 May Private Law
16 May Final Presentations papers due, 7:30-10:15pm