Behavioral Economics and Evidence Law

Forthcoming, Oxford Manual on Behavioral Economics and Law (Eyal Zamir & Doron Teichman, eds.)

U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2269775

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013  

Fredrick E. Vars

University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2013

Abstract

Behavioral economics has been applied to evidence law in at least four different ways: (1) to explain or justify current law; (2) to argue that current law counteracts or fails to counteract the findings; (3) to advocate changes in practice under existing law; and (4) to argue for law reform. On the surface, the first two applications appear descriptive and the second two normative. Below the surface all four missions share common assumptions about the power and generalizability of the psychological findings. Even superficially explanatory assertions are premised on the normative view that psychology should inform our understanding of evidence law. Whether it should, and how law and practice should be changed, are incredibly complex questions. Illustrating the complexity and suggesting ways forward are the goals of this Chapter.

Keywords: evidence law, behavioral economics, uncertainty, legal procedure, character evidence

Suggested Citation

Vars, Fredrick E., Behavioral Economics and Evidence Law (May 24, 2013). Forthcoming, Oxford Manual on Behavioral Economics and Law (Eyal Zamir & Doron Teichman, eds.); U of Alabama Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2269775. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2269775

Fredrick E. Vars (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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