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Behavioral Law and Economics

Christine Jolls

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


Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 130
Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 342

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: Law and economics, behavioral economics

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

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Date posted: January 29, 2007 ; Last revised: February 4, 2009

Suggested Citation

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=959177

Contact Information

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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References:  87
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