The economic analysis of law is an interdisciplinary field that reconciles and facilitates understanding of two very important areas of study, law and economics. The applications of economic analysis to the traditional concepts of law such as private property, contracts or criminal justice introduces a new perspective over the social and economic impacts of the legal system, and therefore new criteria to guide law design.
The objective of this course is to train students in the economic analysis of the law. Economic analysis allows anticipating and understanding the reaction of consumers and firms to changes in the legal framework. Moreover, it rises many new questions such as the effects that of alternative property rights (public, private, regulated, etc.) may have over the efficiency of the economy, the use of alternative sanctions in the design of contracts to generate efficient outcomes or to reduce social costs, or the kinds of criminal punishments that must be imposed to induce the appropriate behavior of individuals or firms. Economic analysis offers not only a scientific theory to study behavior and how it changes in response to changes in the legal system, but also criteria for the design and evaluation of public intervention, predicting the effects of alternatives policies over the efficiency of outcomes, and providing instruments to estimate their redistributive effects.
By the end of the semester, the student will be able to:
- Understand and anticipate the decisions of market participants in response to changes in the legal framework.
- Evaluate the impact of changes in the legal framework on the operation of markets.
- Determinate how the imperfections in the functioning of markets affect the conclusions of standard equilibrium analysis
-Use the instruments of economic analysis to deal with interdisciplinary problems.
-Interpret the law and evaluate the consequences of legislative changes in a variety of contexts.
-Distinguish alternative methods for the analysis of contracts in the presence of civil responsibility and externalities.
-Search, communicate and disseminate relevant information over alternative decisions.
-Apply multidisciplinary knowledge to the analysis of social problems.
-Work cooperatively in order to reach high quality standards in the analysis and presentation of professional work.
The students who take the course will develop:
- A critical view of the effects of changes in the legal framework and its economic and social consequences.
- An awareness of the difficulties of reconciling alternative desirable objectives in the design of legal systems.