Law and Economics

This course introduces the basic principles of law and economics, and how they can be used to analyze the effect legal rules have on the way people and institutions behave. Over the last several decades, the field has gained increasing prominence in legal briefs, judicial opinions, and academic articles. It has been used to evaluate numerous legal rules and problems, including the function of contracts, market regulation, liability schemes, the appropriate measure of damages, legal procedure, criminal law, the tradeoff between private litigation and government enforcement, incentives within a lawsuit, and remedies. This course will meet two hours per week and will cover a variety of these topics. No prior knowledge of economics is assumed. Grades will be based primarily on a take-home final exam. Grades will also be based on in-class participation. There are no prerequisites for this course.