Law & Neuroeconomics

39 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2004  

Terrence R. Chorvat

George Mason University School of Law

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Vernon L. Smith

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; Chapman University School of Law

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

As legal scholarship has come to rely more on economic analysis, the foundational questions of economics have become important questions for legal analysis as well. One of the key foundational elements of modern economics is the assumption of the rational utility maximizing individual. While this assumption has often been questioned, until recently, it was not possible to actually examine the brain mechanisms that individuals use to process the economic problems they face. As a result of the increasing abilities to explore the brain as individuals engage in economic activity, this article calls for a new approach to the study of law which incorporates the findings from the emerging area of neuroeconomics. We call this approach law and neuroeconomics. We argue that this research can help us understand what is occurring in the brains of the individuals and knowledge gained thereby can greatly aid both in understanding the process of creation and development of law as well as its effects on human behavior. The article discusses this research and begins the analysis of applying these findings the study of law.

Keywords: Law & Finance, Property, Corporate Law, Land Use

JEL Classification: K00, K11, K12

Suggested Citation

Chorvat, Terrence R. and McCabe, Kevin A. and Smith, Vernon L., Law & Neuroeconomics (February 2004). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 04-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=501063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.501063

Terrence R. Chorvat (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8208 (Phone)

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Vernon L. Smith

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714-628-2830 (Phone)

Chapman University School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

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