Economics, Behavioral Biology, and Law

44 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2008 Last revised: 4 Aug 2015

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Florida State University - College of Law; Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

Jeffrey Evans Stake

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: December 4, 2010

Abstract

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.

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

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D. and O'Hara O'Connor, Erin A. and Stake, Jeffrey Evans, Economics, Behavioral Biology, and 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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1174468

Owen D. Jones (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/bio/owen-jones

Erin A. O'Hara O'Connor

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fsu.edu/our-faculty/deans/ohara-oconnor

Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research

158 Goya Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028
United States

Jeffrey Evans Stake

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-4444 (Phone)

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