Graduate Law and Economics I
Spring 2020 GMU Syllabus

Economics 840-001 (#??), meets Thursday 7:20-10:00pm during Spring 2020, in Carow Hall,Room 01(and online from 25Mar on)

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Associate Professor, Economics (,
Office Hours: Officially Thursday 5:00-7:00p. But I'm usually in at Carow Hall 10A. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 840 Law and Economics I. Credits: 3. Prerequisite: ECON 611 or 811 or permission of instructor. Uses economics to analyze U.S. Common-law system, evaluating efficiency and logic of evolution.
Class Concept
By grad school, students know the drill cold: read assignments, hear lectures, do homework, and spit it all back on the exam. Problem is, just then the game changes from grades to papers; few will care about your grades, compared to your research papers, written and published. A research paper is not a term paper, and can't be dashed off the weekend before it is due. A research paper does not offer a broad overview; it says something specific and new, even if minor, that fits in a context of other research papers.

My class is designed to aid this transition. Instead of covering many topics briefly, we cover fewer deeper. The research paper is half your grade, and can be all your grade if you want. You must choose a model paper early in the semester, write a referee report on it, and present it in class. Then meeting with me frequently one on one, we look for and then create some variation on that model paper.

Assignments: Required Text:

Steven Shavell, Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law, Harvard University Press, 2004, ISBN 0674011554

Recommended Texts:
David D. Friedman, Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why It Matters, Princeton Univ. Press 2000, ISBN 0691090092.
Robert Cooter and Thomas Ulen, Law and Economics, Sixth Edition, Addison Wesley 2012, ISBN 0132540711. author web notes
Thomas Miceli, The Economic Approach to Law, Second Edition, Stanford University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780804756709
Week Text ChaptersLecture Topics
23 JanS1-3 Intro, Property
30 JanS4-7 Property
6 FebS13-14 Contract
13 FebS15-16 Contract
20 FebS8-10 Accident
27 FebS8-10 Accident Model paper due
5 Mar Student Presentations Referee report due
12 Mar Spring Break
19 Mar Extended Spring Break
26 MarS17-19 Legal Process
2 AprS17-19 Legal Process, Guest Lecture: John Fuisz
9 AprS20-22 Crime
16 AprS23-24 Crime
23 Apr TBD
30 Apr TBD
7 May TBD
14 May 7:30-10:15, Final Paper Presentations

Disability Notice

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 703.993.2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

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