What's the best way to reduce car accidents? Should people be allowed to breach contractual promises as long as they pay damages? Should criminals pay fines or should they instead be sent to jail? Should convicts pay for their DNA testing? This course examines these and similar questions through the lens of economic analysis of law. Economic analysis of law applies economic principles to legal analysis. The course explores how this approach sheds light on a variety of otherwise-puzzling aspects of private and public law. The course will also examine the limits of economic theory, asking such questions as: Are people really rational? Is efficiency fair?
The course is a 2-credit course offered over the first seven weeks of the semester. No background in economics is required or assumed.