last updated: May 21, 2012
This webpage provides access to various materials pertaining to economic analysis of law. The materials were originally prepared to supplement a series of lectures I delivered at the University of Freiburg in May of 2011. They were then revised to supplement a second series of lectures in May of 2012. The materials are not intended to function as a treatise; they are not comprehensive, and some portions of them are intended to provoke discussion, rather than offer balanced views. Please bear their original objective in mind if you employ them for other purposes.
Map of Economic Analysis of Law
The map available through the link set forth above provides an overview of the methodology known as "economic analysis of law." A few notes on using it:
- You should begin by downloading the file containing the map to your computer. There are two ways to do this:
- Option #1: Download the file directly from this page. If you have a Windows-based personal computer, you do this by "right clicking" on the title of the map. If you have a Apple computer, you do this by holding down the "Control" key on your keyboard, then clicking on the title of the map, then selecting "download linked file."
- Option #2: Simply click on the title of the map. A blank screen will appear on your computer. Move your cursor to the bottom of the page. A pull-up menu will appear, offering you various choices, including "Open PDF in Preview" and "Download PDF." Select the latter.
- Be patient. The file contains roughly 8MB of data, so it may take a while to download. Once you have downloaded the file, you may wish to move it to a convenient directory in your hard drive.
- Open the file using the Adobe Acrobat software program. (If you try to open the file using another program, such as "Preview," it probably will not work. Most computers contain Adobe Acrobat. If yours does not, you can obtain it for free from http://get.adobe.com/reader/.)
- To expand and contract the branches of each map, click on the "+" and "-" buttons.
- The icons that look like sections of chain provide links (not surprisingly) to other documents. Some of those documents consist of statutes or judicial opinions; others are slide presentations that examine cases or doctrines in more detail. Once you have explored one of those collateral documents to your satisfaction, close the browser window to return to the main map.
The map itself and all of the collateral slide presentations are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike 2.5 License, the terms of which are available here.
In preparing these materials, I was assisted by a group of Harvard Law School students, who provided excellent distillations of of the recent literature concerning several dimensions of economic analysis. Many dimensions of the map and the accompanying bibliograpy reflect their contributions. Their names and the topics each examined are:
- Tracy Branding: Rules and Standards
- Tina Hwa: Inalienability Rules
- Jamal Khan: Sexuality and Family Law
- Ross MacConnell: The Sociology of Law & Economics
- Killian Nolan: The Coase Theorem
- Rio Pierce: Behavioral Law & Economics
- Vivek Suri: Torts; Property Rules versus Liability Rules
- Ivano Ventresca: The Debate over Fairness versus Welfare
If you make use of these materials and find flaws in them -- errors that need to be corrected, gaps that need to be filled, or references to rules that have been superceded -- I would be grateful if you would let me know. It's best to send me such suggestions via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the word,"EAL," in the subject line.