Behavioral Criminal Law and Economics
Richard H. McAdams
University of Chicago Law School
Thomas S. Ulen
University of Illinois College of Law
November 11, 2008
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 440
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 244
U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE08-035
A behavioral economics literature identifies how behaviorally-derived assumptions affect the economic analysis of criminal law and public law enforcement. We review and extend that literature. Specifically, we consider the effect of cognitive biases, prospect theory, hedonic adaptation, hyperbolic discounting, fairness preferences, and other deviations from standard economic assumptions on the optimal rules for deterring potential offenders and for regulating (or motivating) potential crime victims, legislators, police, prosecutors, judges, and juries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Date posted: November 12, 2008
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