- Code ECON2120
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Economics
- ANU College ANU College of Business and Economics
- Course subject Economics
- Areas of interest Economics
- Academic career UGRD
- Mark Harrison
- Mode of delivery In Person
First Semester 2014
See Future Offerings
Law and Economics applies the concepts and techniques of microeconomics to the law itself, focusing on the common law: the dominant source of legal rules in Australia. The course does not assume any prior legal knowledge, nor does it provide any legal training.
The Course employs basic price theory – rational maximization, the law of demand, opportunity costs, and the idea that voluntary exchange allows resources to gravitate toward their highest- valued uses – to predict the consequences of legal rules: how they affect the behaviour of individuals and groups; and uses welfare economics to evaluate legal rules, especially their efficiency effects. Legal issues examined in the course include property rights, tort law, contract law, criminal law, law enforcement and punishment, litigation and settlement, principal-agent liability, and regulation v tort law as ways to control externalities.
The emphasis in this course is on “thinking like an economist” to understand legal issues from an economic perspective, with a focus on a clear understanding of the logic and underlying economic intuition rather than just the results.
Law and Economics is designed for both economics and law students. For economics students, it is an interesting application of the economic way of thinking to real world problems and policy issues. Examining actual legal cases gives students experience in relating abstract economic models to practical problems and demonstrates their direct relevance.
For law students, Judge Richard Posner (one of the founders of law and economics) explains the benefits of law and economics well: “The law is divided into numerous fields, each of which has a complex structure of rules. The fields are traditionally studied in isolation from one another, and within each field the rules tend also to be studied as a separate, often self-enclosed bodies of thought. Yet it turns out that a relative handful of economic doctrines – such as decision under uncertainty, transactions costs, cost benefit analysis, risk aversion, and positive and negative externalities – can, by repeated application across fields of law and legal rules, describe a great deal of the legal system and enable the student to develop a more coherent sense of the system – to grasp the relation of its parts and understand its essential unity.”
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements for this course, students should have the knowledge and skills to:
• Recognise the economic issues in a legal problem and apply the economic way of thinking to analyse it.
• Assess the efficiency effects of legal rules and policies
See the course outline on the College courses page. Outlines are uploaded as they become available.
Two 1-hour in-term examinations, and a 3-hour final examination.
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Two lectures and one tutorial per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsA. Mitchell Polinsky 2011, An Introduction to Law and Economics, 4th Edition
Friedman, D (2000) Law's Order: What Economics Has to Do with Law and Why it Matters,http://www.davidfriedman.com/Laws_Order_draft/laws_order_ToC.htm
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
- Domestic fee paying students
- International fee paying students
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|5027||17 Feb 2014||07 Mar 2014||31 Mar 2014||30 May 2014||In Person||N/A|