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Behavioral Law and Economics

  • Christine Jolls
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    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 underrecognized) 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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12879.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12879.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Publication status: published as Christine Jolls, 2010. "Behavioral Economics and the Law," Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics, vol 6(3), pages 176-263.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12879
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    7. Hoffman, Elizabeth & Spitzer, Matthew L, 1982. "The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 73-98, April.
    8. Christine Jolls, 2004. "Identifying the Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence on Educational Participation Effects," NBER Working Papers 10528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Jolls, Christine, 1997. "Contracts as Bilateral Commitments: A New Perspective on Contract Modification," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 203-37, January.
    12. George Loewenstein & Don A. Moore, 2004. "When Ignorance Is Bliss: Information Exchange and Inefficiency in Bargaining," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 37-58, 01.
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    19. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise in the Disability Rolls and the Decline in Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-206.
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    21. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
    22. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Does Public Insurance Crowd out Private Insurance?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 391-430.
    23. James J. Heckman & Brook S. Payner, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 2854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Christine Jolls, 2004. "Identifying the Effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act Using State-Law Variation: Preliminary Evidence on Educational Participation Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 447-453, May.
    25. Richard J. Arnould & Henry Grabowski, 1981. "Auto Safety Regulation: An Analysis of Market Failure," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 27-48, Spring.
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    28. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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