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Behavioral Criminal Law and Economics

45 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2008  

Richard H. McAdams

University of Chicago Law School

Thomas S. Ulen

University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: November 11, 2008

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

McAdams, Richard H. and Ulen, Thomas S., Behavioral Criminal Law and Economics (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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1299963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1299963

Richard McAdams (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2520 (Phone)

Thomas Ulen

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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