Behavioral Law and Economics

47 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2007 Last revised: 4 Feb 2009

See all articles by Christine Jolls

Christine Jolls

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Yale Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2006


Behavioral economics has been a growing force in many fields of applied economics, including public economics, labor economics, health economics, and law and economics. This paper describes and assesses the current state of behavioral law and economics. Law and economics had a critical (though under-recognized) early point of contact with behavioral economics through the foundational debate in both fields over the Coase theorem and the endowment effect. In law and economics today, both the endowment effect and other features of behavioral economics feature prominently and have been applied in many important legal domains. The paper concludes with reference to a new emphasis in behavioral law and economics on "debiasing through law" - using existing or proposed legal structures in an attempt to reduce people's departures from the traditional economic assumption of unbounded rationality.

Keywords: Law and economics, behavioral economics

JEL Classification: A12, B00, D30, D61, D63, D91, J70, K00, K12, K13

Suggested Citation

Jolls, Christine and Jolls, Christine, Behavioral Law and Economics (2006). Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 130, Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 342, Available at SSRN:

Christine Jolls (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203.432.1958 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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