Wed May 22 2013
This course introduces the economic approach to human behavior (or, for the self-interested student, the economic approach to life). Economics is the study of allocation of scarce means to satisfy competing ends. Laws are mostly about the allocations of resources (rights), re-allocations (transactions or governmental/private takings), and resolutions of disputes over resources. In this course, we explore human motivations, such as wealth maximization, ego, and altruism; examine what kind of laws a benevolent decision-maker should have in place; and study the question of what legislators and judges actually maximize.
The course will introduce basic economic, game-theory and behavioral concepts that are useful for everyday life and for legal thinking. These concepts will be applied in several basic legal fields, including property, torts, contracts, and criminal law.