Economic Analysis of Law - LAW 461

What effects does Law have? Do individuals drive more cautiously, clear ice from sidewalks more diligently, and commit fewer crimes because of the threat of legal sanctions? Do corporations pollute less, market safer products, and obey contracts to avoid suit? And given the effect of legal rules, which are socially best? Such questions about the influence and desirability of laws have been investigated by legal scholars and economists in a rigorous and systematic manner since the 1970s. Their approach, labeled “economic,” is widely considered to be intellectually important and to have revolutionized thinking about the Law. This course will provide an in-depth analysis of the major building blocks of our legal system – Tort Law, Property Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, and the legal process. The course will also address welfare economic versus moral conceptions of the social good. The course is aimed at a general audience of students. A non- economic background is required to take this course.
Language of Instruction: English (legal terms, however, are also given in Arabic and French).