Economic analysis provides one of the major theoretical perspectives on the study of law in American universities. This course introduces students to the economic analysis of the law as a set of tools for analyzing laws. Students will learn how to construct and critique economic models of the incentive effects of different legal rules and institutions. These models will illuminate familiar areas of law, including criminal law, torts, contracts, property, corporations, and civil procedure. (Note: The economic analysis of law as a jurisprudential movement, including questions of how it complements and conflicts with philosophical traditions, is the subject of a seminar in the winter semester 2010 entitled "The Philosophy of Law and Economics.")The course neither presumes nor requires a background in economics, but it uses graphs and simple algebra of the kind found in introductory microeconomics classes. Students who are unsure of their technical preparation for the class should examine the textbook (Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen, Law and Economics (Addison-Wesley, 5th edition, 2008); book website is http://www.cooter-ulen.com/) and see whether they find it congenial.The class will be taught by a mixture of lecture and discussion. Students are expected to read the assigned materials before class and to answer questions in class.
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