Economics, Behavioral Biology, and Law
Owen D. Jones
Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences
Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor
Vanderbilt University - Law School; Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research
Jeffrey Evans Stake
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
December 4, 2010
Supreme Court Economic Review, Vol. 19, 2011
Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 08-38
Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 08-19
The article first compares economics and behavioral biology, examining the assumptions, core concepts, methodological tenets, and emphases of the two fields. Building on this, the article then compares the applied interdisciplinary fields of law and economics, on one hand, with law and behavioral biology, on the other - highlighting not only the most important similarities, but also the most important differences.
The article subsequently explores ways that biological perspectives on human behavior may prove useful, by improving economic models and the behavioral insights they generate. The article concludes that although there are important differences between the two fields, the overlaps between economics and biology warrant even greater congress between these two disciplines, and expanded exchange between the legal thinkers interested in each of them.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: law, economics, biology, evolutionary analysis in law, behavioral biology, evolution, behavior, evolutionary economics, game theory, bioeconomics, neuroeconomics, tastes, preferences
JEL Classification: A12, D00, K00, B25
Date posted: July 30, 2008 ; Last revised: February 2, 2011
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