A Positive Agenda for Behavioral Law and Economics
Cognitive Critique, Vol. 3, p. 85, 2011
6 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2011
Date Written: February 1, 2011
Law has spent surprisingly little time developing a theory of human nature. Its efforts have largely focused on the abnormal - notably, those not responsible for their actions by reason of mental illness or diminished capacity. The normal has barely been addressed. Law and economics embeds a theory - that people are rational maximizers of their self-interest. Law and economics admits its theory is unrealistic; it touts instead its theory’s ability to predict. Behavioral law and economics aspires to more realism (and more predictive power). Its trajectory has, however, sometimes been contorted insofar as it has focused on exceptions to the law and economics view rather than a broader reconception of the overall endeavor. Such a reconception is desirable, necessary, and increasingly feasible.
Keywords: behavioral law and economics, identity, cultural cognition, empathy
JEL Classification: D82, A11, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation