Over the past half-century, economic analytical perspectives of law have thrived in the legal academy. This course provides a survey and critical review of the intellectual legacy and methodological approaches common to the study of law & economics.
Students are introduced to the subject of thought in law & economics analysis by reading key original manuscripts. The course, however, aims at more than a history of thought in law & economics. Through models and problem sets, students will also develop familiarity with the principal conceptual approaches and tools of the field, from marginal analysis to cooperative and non-cooperative game theory.
Each session will be structured around a primary foundational publication in law & economics. In the first hour of each class we will carefully work through the publication’s model in a rigorous but broadly accessible manner (if there is no model in the publication, we will develop one so as to focus our analysis). A discussion will follow in the second hour, when the class turns its attention to related articles, extensions and critiques of the foundational piece. The seminar is divided into three parts. The first part covers basic analytical preliminaries and formulations, including the unit of analysis, legal and economic analysis of entitlement, and the Coase Theorem. The second part of the seminar delves into specific subject matter contributions in law & economics, including contracts, criminal law, torts, procedure, property and constitutional/public law. The final part will turn to work based on norms and game theoretic approaches in law and economics.