Law & Economics

Credit Card Pricing: The CARD Act and Beyond

Oren Bar-Gill & Ryan Bubb

Credit card contracts have come under increased public and political scrutiny.  This scrutiny culminated in the passage, by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (the CARD Act) and in the creation, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection… Read More »

Law, Economic Development, and Institutions: Between Theory and Praxis

Chantal Thomas - Cornell Law School

In his 1993 Nobel Laureate lecture, the leading theorist of institutional economics, Douglass North, emphasized the relevance of his life’s work for economic development policy.  Twenty years prior, in his book authored with Robert Thomas and titled The Rise of the Western World, North laid out the theoretical connection between… Read More »

Chasing the Greased Pig Down Wall Street

Donald Langevoort - Thomas Aquinas Reynolds Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

             Of all the questions about why the recent financial mess happened, the most troublesome have to do with why large, supposedly sophisticated financial institutions took on so much risk.  There are many possible responses, some of which are about informational asymmetries, others about agency costs and moral hazards, and… Read More »

Harry Potter and the Trouble with Tort Theory

Scott Hershovitz

Imagine that upon graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter goes to law school. As a 1L, he takes torts from a professor with an economist’s view of the institution. She teaches Potter that tort law aims to minimize the sum of the costs of accidents and… Read More »

Commensurability and Agency

Alon Harel & Ariel Porat

In this Editorial we focus our attention on two concerns for Law and Economics (LE). The first relates to commensurability and the second focuses on agency. Both concerns are central to LE. The first concern questions the dominant method LE uses for making substantive decisions. The second concern challenges… Read More »

Preventing the Misuse of Preventive Adjudication: A Response to Bray

Henry Smith - Harvard Law School

Henry E. Smith
Samuel Bray’s recent article in the University of Chicago Law Review proposes an innovative category—preventive adjudication—to capture how courts minimize the harm from legal uncertainty. In preventive adjudication, the court issues no command to the parties, applies a prospective remedy only, and applies the law to a given… Read More »

Plant Closures Cause Job Loss

David M. Driesen - Syracuse University College of Law

David M. Driesen
[This is the third post in a three-part response to Jonathan S. Masur and Eric A. Posner, Against Feasibility Analysis, 77 U Chi L Rev 657 (2010).]

Because plant closures cause job loss, any cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that counts job loss as a consequence relevant to overall well-being… Read More »

How Cost-Benefit Analysis Incorporates and Worsens Feasibility Analysis’s Flaws

David M. Driesen - Syracuse University College of Law

Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner’s neglect of key normative arguments (discussed in my previous post) stems in part from a preoccupation with flaws in the agency practice of feasibility analysis. I agree with Masur and Posner’s characterization of that practice as less than wholly satisfactory and suggested as much in an… Read More »

A Modest Normative Case for Feasible Regulation

David M. Driesen - Syracuse University College of Law

In spite of Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner’s promise to unmask the normative commitments underlying feasibility analysis, their new article, Against Feasibility Analysis, fails to confront key normative arguments about the tendency of widely distributed regulatory costs to render trivial the individual impact on consumers of even high aggregate costs or… Read More »

Valuing Intellectual Property: An Experiment

Christopher Buccafusco & Christopher Jon Sprigman

In recent decades, research in behavioral psychology and experimental economics has undermined some of the fundamental principles of the “rational choice” model of neoclassical economics—in particular, the assumption that decision-makers have stable preferences.  A large volume of data shows that people’s preferences are subject to a variety of cognitive biases… Read More »

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